Posted tagged ‘friends’

A Last Unexpected Step

June 5, 2014

Exactly 3 weeks after I wrote my last post, this happened:

garroshkill

It was the guild’s 3rd kill. I didn’t participate in the 200ish learning wipes. It was a 10s raid…

I didn’t expect much of an impact at the end, but, because the game (or is it life?) never ceases to surprise me, I was hit in the face by a huge wave of feels when those achievements made my screen shiny.

As I happily watched the achievements fade, my guildies asked if I was going to write a blog post about it.

I said yes.

So here is a blog post.

Pandaria and the Road to Heroic Garrosh

Looking back, the way to Heroic Garrosh felt like…like a journey. (I think I may have journeys on the brain these days.) The first tier of the expansion was annoying. My first guild, Occasional Excellence, fell apart (or was blown up by it’s leaders – however you want to look at it) and I ran back to my on-again-off-again love, Conquest. I didn’t click with the healing lead they had at the time (understatement of the century) so I was both elated and terrified when I got a chance to trial for Cadenza.

I was lucky that holy pallies looked pretty good on logs at the time. I died a lot. I mean, a lot. Heart of Fear was full of those twitchy movement fights that make me panic and run into no-nos. But, to my greatest relief, they let me stay. So I played with Cadenza for the rest of the expansion – almost a year and a half.

A year and a half! I’ve spent more time in Cadenza now then I have in any guild, save for Red Tear (my very, very first raiding guild). Where did the time go?

You Want Stories?

My time in Cadenza was relatively uneventful too, when you compare it to my past experiences. But…

If you want funny stories, I had a little bit of drama with a resto druid who went out of her way to top meters. And I mean out of her way. From chasing me around to murder me on Ji-Kun and, to a lesser extend, Twin Consorts (to this day, I get this icky sick feeling in my stomach when I get close to Ji-Kun), to flirting with the guild leader to get loot/LFR runs/other privileges (I didn’t pay enough attention to see how well that worked out for her), to making us wait while she hearthed out to gem/reforge EVERY piece of gear she won, to life gripping melee who bothered her away from bosses. After the Ji-Kun thing, I got my revenge by dispelling her on Primordius when she’d steal puddles from the DPS. I got in trouble for it (because she was deranged enough to complain even though she was breaking the rules) and was super embarrassed at how I’d sunk to such childish levels. In retrospect, and now that I’m more comfortable in the guild, I find the whole thing pretty amusing and love telling the story.

If you want sappy stories, my copally and I started talking about pally stuff one night. Which led to conversations about Final Fantasy, Dragon Age, Mass Effect and other games. Which led to us to attempting challenge modes together with some other guildies. Which led to him inviting me to group on one of his PvE-server alts to phase me whenever I logged in (Tichondrius is a horrible, horrible place when you can’t defend yourself). Which eventually led to us thinking “where have you been all my life?” We’ve been officially together for almost a year now and still going strong. He’s even coming with me for the South East Asia portion of the Epic Journey. Past experiences had made me think that I couldn’t handle long distance relationships, but it’s been surprisingly easy. I guess what they say is true- it’s all about meeting the right person.

If you want meeting-guildies IRL stories – I did meet quite a few of my Cadenza guildies. I’d already met Logan, of course, from our Conquest days. But at Blizzcon, I got to hang out with him, Kith, Theck, Arg, Finwe, Kerrine (and ALL of them AT THE SAME TIME). Given how quiet and not friendly I am in guild, I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun I had with them. They all felt like people I’d be friends with if I were around them IRL, even if we didn’t all play the same video game. In April, the boy (we can call him Ed now) and I made another trip to California to meet Loriey and Twilightfang, then Cup and Chuggy, two other guild couples. Just like us, both couples had one American partner and one international partner so it was fun to share meeting stories and getting stuck at customs stories (poor Cup). (For a guild that rarely has girls – I was the only raiding girl in the guild for a big portion of my time there – we sure have a lot of couples.) We also got to hang out with Arg, Finwe and Corv throughout the week and, again, I felt like we’d been offline friends all our lives. When Ed and I went back to New Jersey, we hung out with Kith and Sang (though not both of them at the same), and again, super good times that ended way too soon. (Sang, however, probably had little idea who I was, having quit the game a few weeks after I joined but I’d heard so much about him that I begged Ed to introduce me.)

Back to Heroic Garrosh

When a lot of our team gave up and we resized to 10s, I figured my time was over. (My raid leader would probably scold me for having “no faith”.) But eventually, the main team killed it and I was offered a chance at my title.

I hadn’t played my pally in weeks. My keybinding were so far in my mind that during our re-clear, I once Bopped our tank instead of Saccing him (you know, old skool Rykga style). That whole re-clear was painful and scary. We spend hours trying to kill Spoils. I felt like it was all my fault since they did fine in past weeks when I wasn’t there. Some wipes were obviously my fault, like when I didn’t notice Seal of Insight wasn’t up, or when my power went out mid-fight, or when I made a wrong turn and ran right into bombs. I attributed the other wipes to my bad luck aura.

Eventually, late into our second night, we reached Heroic Garrosh. I think the last time I was that nervous before a fight was early in my Cadenza trial. My raid leader had gone over the strat (we use a 1 healer, 1 tank strat) and my cooldown timing with me earlier. I chose a Selfless Healer style (which, by the way, worked out really good for most of the fight), which I’m less comfortable with (WTF is judgement?) but that I eased into as the night went on.

Then it was classic Cadenza “push until your brain shuts down and then just keep going until your hands know the fight”. (It’s embarrassing to explain sometimes – at one point around 1 am, my raid leader called for a Devo Aura in a couple of seconds. As soon as I heard “Rykga” and “Devo Aura”, my finger just landed on the button. When I got scolded afterward, I was thinking “how do I explain the accident happened due to a post-brainshutdown response?)

I’d had a pretty long day (a pretty long week, actually), didn’t have a chance to eat between work and raid, and, unlike the rest of the guild, I didn’t have 200+ wipes under my belt. So I made mistakes. Most of the mistakes were execution (the actual healing and cooldown use was easier than you’d expect) although not having Selfless Healer quite mastered caused a few not-so-fun moments. The raid seemed to play good-cop-bad-cop with me – I’d get scolded by the raid leader and the rest of the raid would whisper me encouragements (this is how awesome my guildies are – my eyes get all prickly when think about it). And because I’m always a big nervewreck, and my level of nervewreckness skyrockets when I’m tired and hungry, my self talk was along the lines of “all these people are here to help you get this kill and you’re letting them down. If we don’t kill Garrosh, it’s ALL YOUR FAULT AND THEY WILL ALL HATE YOU FOREVER

When I finally crawled into bed after raid, I bawled like a baby for hours.

The Final Go

We were back again the next day. I pulled our healing lead aside for some pointers and pep talk before raid (he’d healed all the previous kills, so he knows.)

This time I was slightly better rested and slightly less hungry (I never seem to have time to eat and sleep these days. My clothes are getting baggy – there’s nothing like the “being worked to death” diet for one’s figure.) All the brainless wipes had also reinforced muscle memory. (Actually, one thing I discovered while raiding with Cadenza is that if you keep going when you’re exhausted and can’t handle it anymore, you might not perform well, but you learn. You learn very, very well.)

I was ready.

It still took awhile to get the kill, but most of the wipes had little, if anything, to do with me. I was determined and confident.

We started off the night wiping in the first phase. Then we wiped in Jade Temple. Then we wiped during the Whirl phase. Then we wiped during Empowered phase. Then, FINALLY, we made it to the last phase.

And then Heroic Garrosh died and I had one of those moments.

I spent the rest of the night celebrating with the guild in Vent. It was one the best evenings I’d spend with them. Usually raid ends late and I have to work the next day so I can’t stay and socialize. With the exception of those who I’ve met IRL, I barely knew my guildies at all. It was such a good time – they seemed genuinely happy for me and I was riding the high from the kill.

It felt more like a beginning than an end. Which is heartbreaking since the Epic Journey starts in August. I’m also not sure how much raiding I’ll get to do with them in July (we ARE started 25s again on June 27. I’m not sure if there are spots open but anyone who’s still reading and are thinking they might be interested in joining Cadenza, check with Agwyne, our guild and raid leader, on Tichondrius) since I work during a portion of raid time. But, for an ending, it’s certainly a happy one and I’ll think back on the past year and a half (and the last, what, 8? years of raiding) whenever I need some positive thoughts.

My mom and my non-gaming friends always ask me if I think I’d ever regret all the hours I spent on WoW.

The answer is “never“.

Rykga, Hellscream's Downfall says hi

Rykga, Hellscream’s Downfall says hi

Still Running

October 4, 2013

When I was a student, stressed and exhausted and constantly panicking at hectic paces and deadlines, I thought to myself “I can’t wait to be out of school and have a normal life.”

Then I got my first permanent job. After tired morning upon tired morning of looking at my dark sunken eyes in the mirror, and after night upon night of breathing exercises to regain control after a hard day, it dawned on me that the problem was me. Between being awfully slow (everything takes me hours and hours more than everyone else), being a perfectionist (not an efficient combination) and an insatiable need to TAKE ON ALL THE THINGS, it would seem I’m condemned to a life time of running. Running and never catching up.

I used to envy the unemployed, but the more I get to know myself, the more I think my life would be just as hectic, no matter what elements I took out of it.

All that to say that a few weeks ago, I was a guest on the Leetsauced Podcast to celebrate their 3rd podcasting anniversary. It took me this long to get back to the blog, but these are the codes you may be looking for:

Logan’s code: ZD-2LTBF

My code: QZXE-S5A6

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, that’s normal. It seems the hosts were critted by real life even harder than I was and I believe they haven’t been able to upload the episode yet.

But, you know, keep an eye on their site and you might win something fun! (On top of the awesome privilege of hearing my naughty noodle talk.)

As usual, I super happy to get to hang out and goof off. We’ve all gone our separate ways since our Conquest shenanigans and it’s been too long. Too too long. While I think Vik and Evan (Hi-ya) are mostly retired from WoW, Logan and I still raid together in Cadenza, but it’s not the same.

Other things that happened while I was running

As I just hinted at, I’ve been raiding with Cadenza for about 8 months now and still haven’t gotten kicked out (and actually, while I seem to get in trouble far more than most everyone else, I do feel like I’m playing somewhat decently!). The raiding is fantastic. We raid 2 nights a week, the attitude is more casual than most of the casual guilds I’ve been in (Guild forums? What are guild forums? Reading strats? You can read strats?), but we kill stuff faster than the most progressives guilds I’ve been in. Which is unbelievable given the amount of time we waste.

I’ve been raiding Kurn’s Kick-Ass GM guide (since I have no plans of becoming a GM, I’ve been treating it like “Memoirs of a GM” – it reads very well like an autobiography) and the entire time I wonder what our GM would say about it given that Cadenza, on many points (though in fairness, not every point), is pretty much the opposite of Apotheosis.

I do struggle with our Fri-Sat schedule. I wish I had found this guild as a student in Newfoundland. Raiding 10:30pm-2:30am when I don’t have to get up the next morning would have been amazing. I would have done so much better in pharmacy school if I’d raided with Cadenza at the time (though I would have missed out on some really good Conquest friendships). As community worker in Alberta, though, it’s not as obvious. Nobody wants to work the Friday night shift, so I often have to miss raid to cover it. And real life stuff is always happening on Saturday nights. No matter how much I try to avoid the Evil Real Life, it just keeps chasing me around.

But anyway, I’ve been in the guild for 8 months and I have a cute story to share.

I was reading Theck’s post about world PvP on the Timeless Isle.

He’s right. He puts it so eloquently and describes a big picture complete with relevant data and images, but essentially there are two words: Tichondrius sucks. World PvP in itself isn’t the problem. I played plenty on Nerzhul and Eredar and had excellent experiences, better even than on PvE servers. But the faction imbalance (along with the Horde PvP celebrities who attract masses of gank-happy fans) sets Tichondrius apart. I don’t even do new content because there’s no point. No matter how much PvP gear you put on or how many friends you bring with you, you’ll do nothing but sit in the graveyard as a ghost all night.

Anyways. Sensing my frustration, my fellow holy paladin guildy, who has a lot of alts on a PvE server, added me to real ID and invited me to group whenever he saw me on. Normally I don’t group outside of raids. I play by myself, at my own pace, for my own fun, thank you very much. But Tichondrius (and low-level Nerzhul since it shares Tich’s CRZ) is so awful that I couldn’t turn him down. So night after night, he’d invite me to group and we’d chat. After a few weeks of this, I finally gave him the time of day.

He came to visit me last week and I’m going to visit him the week before Blizzcon. I guess you could kinda say we’ve dating or something for the past two months or so. Not sure where it will lead, but things seem to be going well. A little good to come out of Tichondrius’ awfulness.

In other news, work’s been rough as usual. With half of my staff away, the remainder of my staff injured and inventory coming up on Saturday, I did about 8 consecutive days of being on my feet from 8:30 am to 11:30pm (most pharmacists aren’t allowed to take breaks, so a 15 hour shift means 15 hours of having sore feet and of being super hungry, sleepy and dizzy – and the shittiest part is that I’m only allowed to be paid between 9 am and 9pm, meaning the rest is basically just volunteering at work). So I’ve been pretty cranky and I swear I’m fighting off some kinda of sinus infection (likely from being exposed to the mold in our building for so many hours).

I had my first day off yesterday and I ran off to Jasper for some therapeutic thin mountain air. I didn’t bring my camera, which I regretted – the snow covered mountains with mist hanging around them were beautiful when contrasted with the yellow late-fall tree. But here’s a photo of Jasper I took earlier this year for your own mountain-therapy needs.

Cal Expo Cape Breton Pyramid Outlook 036

Oh, and yes, I fully intend to write about playing a Holy Paladin in 5.4, though by the time I get around to it, we’ll probably be in 6.0.

What does your relationship with your guild remind you of?

January 14, 2011

As some of you might be sick of hearing about (when I’m sad, I make my friends’ shoulders wet), over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been (unhealthly) preoccupied by tensions between me and my guild. Well, actually, my guild is probably blissfully unaware of such tensions. Either that or it’s ignoring them in hopes that they’ll go away.

So in reality, we could say that I’ve been preoccupied with tensions between me and my perception of my guild.

Which triggered a reflection on how us players view our relationships with our guilds. Some of us take our guilds for what they are: social/hobby clubs, comparable to a garage hockey team or bird watching club. To others, guilds are just a means to achieving in game goals of collecting nice gear and seeing content. At the other end of the spectrum, some (and I tend to fall into this trap a lot) compare their guildies to family, and sometimes even to romantic partners.

Let’s take a look at some of these perceptions of relationships between players and their guilds.

1- The Random People Who Do Stuff

Not everyone bonds with the people they play with. Not everyone wants to bond with the people they play with. And that’s totally fine- as long as you’re upfront about your goals, pull your own weight and don’t step on others to get what you want, there’s no obligation to be more socially involved than necessary.

2- The Social/Sports Club

As intense as some of us players can get about the people we play with, this is what guilds really are: a group of people who share a common hobby. It’s also the key to guild shopping: finding other players who share the same approach and goals about the game.

Even roles within a guild are comparable to real life clubs. Guild officers are like the guy (or girl for the politically correct) on the amateur sports team who sets up the competitions, the guy (or girl) in the running club who orders the t-shirts and so on.

3- The Academy

I’ve never seen guilds described as a school, but the thought occurred to me as I was talking to a friend from my old casual guild who wanted to play at a higher level. “OMG!” I exclamed, “You and I, we graduated! We’re casual guild alumnae!

I guess this way of seeing guilds only applies to us learning junkies who get our kicks from slowly perfecting our play. After all, it’s totally cool to be content playing the game to relax or hang out with buddies. But I felt that “graduating” from a casual guild felt more positive than the more common perception of “breaking up” with a previous guild.

Using “guild as a school” also keeps me focused during more stressful times with my own guild. When you’re spending several hours a week with these people (and in the video game world, “these people” often have varying levels of social skills), rough patches are inevitable. But when frustration builds, the realization that I still have a lot to learn about my class and about my gameplay from my guild reminds me that I’m still in the right place.

4- The Workplace

I see this one a lot. Guilds get compared to businesses and work environments all the time. After all, you sort of have levels of hierarchy (amusingly, my GM loves to be called “boss”…which of course is the exact reason I NEVER call him that), you have objectives, you have a group culture and so on.

Obviously, a group of humans is a group of humans is a group of humans. Organization (workplace) psychology applies to guilds the way it applies to social clubs because it’s all about making individuals better at achieving the group’s goals.

But businesses and guilds have their differences. In one, you’re dealing with employee’s money, careers and lives. In the other, you’re dealing with people’s spare time. As anyone who’s ever had to deal with a young guild officer who’s never had a job before knows, the required management standards aren’t really the same.

5- The Family

My guild is like my family.” There’s another one that comes up a lot. Like any group of friends that you get along well with and that you spend a lot of time around, strong bonds can form. Before you know it, you’re sending each other Christmas cards, going to each other’s weddings and dialling each other’s number whenever something big happens.

This kind of relationship with one’s guild can be great and it can be devastating. Many of us have long term friends we’ve met playing MMOs and many of us have been lucky enough to receive support from friends we’ve met online during tougher times. Some of us don’t have good relationships with our real families and have found some sort of replacement in the people we play with.

The danger in this is that relationships online often seem more intimate than they really are. They develop quickly, they’re easy to be dishonest in (the naivety of people online never ceases to amaze me) and they make it easier to hide from problems with real life families. And while you’re hiding, problems grow.

6- The Romantic Partner

Those who don’t play MMOs and who’ve never been involved in online communities probably think this is the weirdest perception ever. Yet, I’ve seen and heard a lot of gamers compare gquiting to breaking up with someone. And that was exactly the feeling I had when I left my old guild: the alternating feelings of relief and regret, of freedom and loneliness. I’ve also seen someone compare talking about an old guild to talking about exes: you can do it a little if flatters the new guild/significant other, but never if it flatters the old guild/significant other.

I do often use romantic relationships as metaphors a lot when talking about my guild. Mainly because it makes for great dirty jokes… But I am someone who gets really attached and who doesn’t like to move on. The dangers of this? Having trouble knowing when I’ve overstayed my welcome, having too high expectations and being overly affected by arguments or incidents.

Conclusion: Looking at things from a step back

Lately I’ve had this feeling of exhaustion whenever I log into the game and I’ve had my internet time cut down quite a bit due to busy busy real life. So I’m limiting my playtime. My character is geared enough that I don’t really need to play much outside of raids. Since I was frustrated by inefficient communication within guild, I cut down on my socializing on Mumble. I focused more on my gameplay, on analyzing fight damage patterns and on raid parses. Basically, I reminded myself of the “academy” or player personal progress take of a guild relationship.

And it feels good. My expectations dropped: after all, since I’m at roughly the same level of skill as the rest of my guild, the only person I’m depended on to reach my player improvement goals is myself. The stress has been a lot less and I’ve been able to channel more energy on Blog Azeroth. Which I hope I can keep up because Blog Azeroth is like my family. Err… Um… Yeah… Never mind….

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.

Shared Topic: Your Autoblogography

November 11, 2010

From Look Ma! I made a WoW Blog, April 7, 2009

A bossy pally can only chase people around to talk to them about WoW for so long before said people become good at getting away. Then, all thats left is the internet. You can still run away on the internet, oh yes. But sometimes you unknowingly run towards trouble and accidently read things.
[...]
So I started a blog because I wasn’t getting enough WoW talk. I’m not yet sure where I want to go with this or if I’m going to go anywhere at all. Only time will tell, I guess?

We were running short on Shared Topics at Blog Azeroth (so you should all totally go and suggest some) and it was therefore my turn to come up with a Topic. And what do I like reading about? That’s right. Big, fat, juicy, behind the scenes blogging stories. Hence the Topic: Your Autoblogography.

The Topic starts next week and you can prepare for it by reading this post and by checking the thread at Blog Azeroth.
(more…)

Blizzcon Casulties, part 2

October 28, 2010

You didn’t expect all my adventures to fit in a single post, did you?

The Guildies

The best part of Blizzcon, of course, is the people. Initially, it was the only reason I wanted to go anyway. Just to put faces and bodies to the names and voices I’ve spent so many happy evenings with.

Borrowed the picture from Matt since I didn't get one with everybody on it. Nevermind how terrible I look. IT WAS LATE AT NIGHT.

I’ve met guildies before, but this was the largest meetup I’ve attended. If I counted it right, a total of 14 guildies from past and present made an appearance. Murmurs of WoW Insider and the official forums fame stayed with us as well and became an honorary guildie (even if we didn’t see him much, popular guy that he is. PS. he’s super cute).

To those who’ve never met guildies, I wish I could explain what it’s like. The closest I can come is by saying that it’s exactly like being on vent together, except that we can see each other’s faces. The conversations we had were just like those we have online, but we could still understand each other if more than one person spoke at once (unlike vent).

I had been really worried about being the only girl from the gang, but it was a non-issue. It felt just like hanging out with my brothers. They even tried to make me feel like one of the gang by trying to pair me up with random guys at the WoW Insider meetup. Unfortunately, I wasn’t feeling so hot (less than 3 hours of sleep and more than 12 hours of travelling in the past 36 hours), so it was pretty disastrous:

Guildie (to random guy): Hey, have you met Tina?
(They had this system where all the guys were nicknamed Ted and I was Tina)
Random guy (to me): Hey Tina.
Me: Hey, how’s it going?
*awkward silence*
Random guy: *points to my drink* What am I drinking?
Me: *thinking he’s asking about my drink* Um…*trying to remember what my drink was* Jack and Coke.
Random guy: Nope, I’m not drinking anything. See? My hands are empty. You’re wrong.
Me:….

I rudely waved him away and turned around. By then the room was spinning and I felt like I was about to throw up (and no, I wasn’t drunk, the Jack and Coke was almost full), so I finished up my drink, ran back to my hotel and burst into tears.

So, guy in this story, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry! I’m not usually that rude, I just really, really don’t travel well!

I didn’t get iced, although I told them I’d be up for it. I was partly grateful, partly disappointed. I’d like to see if I could do it and feel like part of the team. At the same time, my stomach was bothering me the entire trip and I was desperately trying to avoid being sick. There’s no way I could have kept a sweet drink down!

On a side note, I have to wonder about those people on TLC shows who eat almost exclusively junk food. I only had a couple of junk food meals and yet felt quite horribly ill from all the fat and salt.

My guildies also came up with what ended up being somewhat of a rally call. Whenever Matt was around, Bruherd, especially, kept yelling, WE’VE GOT THEE MATTICUS! FROM WORLD OF MATTICUS DOT COM! WE’RE RECRUTING FOR CATACLYSM!

Most of the time I wanted to crawl under the sidewalk, but it did come in handy. Whenever I had trouble finding my group, I’d just stop and listen for the THEE MATTICUS call. And it was apparently contagious: even Ghostcrawler exclaimed “It’s THEE MATTICUS!” at one point.

Meeting Non Guildies

The magical thing about Blizzcon is that you’re surrounded by all sorts of people. Grandparents, small children, prom-queen types, individuals who haven’t left their bedroom since Blizzcon last year… All sorts of people. Yet, not matter how different we are, we all have that one thing in common: we love gaming enough to be here.

I met so many people last week, old friends and new friends. It was amazing. There’s no way I can tell all the stories, or do justice to all those who crossed my path, so here are some select (mostly embarrassing) highlights.

One of the events I was most looking forward to was the TNB meetup. TNB played a huge role in getting me to start blogging in the first place, so I’d been counting down the days until the meetup.

I spend some time with the lovely ladies Beruthiel (whom I wasn’t expecting to see at all! Such a pleasant suprise!) and Anafielle. I have to say, it was wonderful to hear about other topics than booze and sex! I completely fell in love with both of them and the evening was just too short!

I also got a picture with the Righteous Defense duo Rhidach and Anafielle. Back when I was tanking full time, I studied Righteous Defense religiously. When I saw both of their names on the TNB list, I was thrilled! I was even more thrilled when I saw that they both made it to the meetup. Rhidach was pretty quiet and only came out for a few minutes, but I was so fangirly and giddy that it was probably a good thing. Wouldn’t want to embarrass myself any more!

Speaking of being fangirly and giddy, there was one point where I was right next to Turpster. Right next to him. And I was so shy and intimidated that I couldn’t say anything. I ended up mumbling something like “take my raffle ticket”. Without making eye contact, I clumsily shoved my raffle ticket at him and ran off. I’m really smooth like that…

I hope he at least won something with it.

Exploring the Area

One Friday, I had the day to myself as my guildies were all at the convention. I love walking and exploring, so I leisurely strolled down Katella Ave. Then I leisurely strolled down Main St. About two hours later, my legs sort of hurt and I found myself in downtown Santa Ana.

It was like stepping into a different world. I turned off my iPod, but kept the earphones on. I didn’t want strangers pointing out the giant “TOURIST!” sign hanging above my head. I listened to the conversations around me. My Spanish is decent, considering my last Spanish lesson was over 10 years ago, but I couldn’t understand everything that was being said. I also didn’t want to take the risk of pulling out my camera.

I drifted by all the discount jewellery and bridal shops. I went to the grocery store and practiced my Spanish a little. Olà! Gracias! Ok, maybe I didn’t practice it very much.

I walked a little further and found the Artists Village. I stopped for lunch at a gorgeous place called The Gypsy Den. I then made my way back up Main to the Bowers Museum. I’m a huge nerd who loves museums, especially cultural anthropology museums, so I was served. I floated from exhibit to exhibit, learning about arts and craftsmanship in Oceania and China.

By the time they kicked me out so they could close up, I was exhausted so I decided to take part in the joyous experience of Orange County public transit. (As a general note, to those who want to become backpackers, I highly encourage sampling public transit wherever you go. Nothing will give you a feel and a taste of a place the way sitting on a crowded, or deserted, city bus will.)

My guildies were supposed to meet me at the hotel at 6 for supper. Well, 6 came and went. 6:30 came and went. No sign of guildies. My phone doesn’t work in the US, so I had no idea how long they planned on making me wait. I also wanted to be at the TNB meetup at 9, so I was furious. Furious. The jerks.

(Matt, who was doing his big-shot blogging stuff that afternoon and wasn’t supposed to meet up with us until later at night, ended up saving the day by making an appearance and texting the guys for me.)

Saturday night, I skipped on the Hilton party to get a feel of the reputed LA nightlife. Unfortunately, by then I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open. A guildie and I ended up going to a small place nearby in Fullerton. In the end, it was a great idea. The music was fantastic and the crowd was friendly and unpretentious. I danced for hours.

My poor foot (the same one as the huge blister!) got stabbed by a stiletto. I think I made a very high pitched sound and the stiletto wearer found herself flying into the crowd. We kind of stared at each other for a moment. Neither of us apologized, but I guess it wasn’t necessary. We were even: her stiletto was very sharp and I don’t know my own strength.

I had another adventure on Sunday. Most of the gang had gone home, but our raid leader, Evan, had stuck around to drive Matt and I to LAX. Matt wanted to be at the airport early and I wanted to go to Hollywood. By then, my brain-mouth filter had broken down and for those few hours I was quite possibly the most annoying person on the planet. Kudos to Evan for humouring me. I actually lost my voice from talking so much.

No one had a map, so after dropping off Matt, Evan and I randomly drove around until we found Hollywood and the walk of fame.

We did eventually make it. And we probably would have made it earlier had I not been wrong with every guess of direction I made. On the bright side, the drive was very educational: we unintentially toured a ghetto where all the houses had barred windows, a red light district and a number of freeways.

On the way back, we stopped off for food and in my exhaustion, I forgot how to act in a restaurant. I talked really loud (why Evan didn’t shut me up, I don’t know). Then I couldn’t figure out how to put the tip on my receipt. I forgot that I hadn’t paid yet and that I would get a paper with a tip line after my credit card was returned. After paying, I just sat there, forgetting that I could leave now.

I didn’t drink much during Blizzcon. I don’t have to drink to be stupid.

And now I’m home

My flight to Toronto was packed with Blizzcon enthusiasts, but I was so tired that I just sat on the ground (there aren’t enough seats at LAX) and stared blankly at them. The stares they gave me in return were just as blank. No social mana left at all. Shame. The three semi-passed out across from me were hawt.

I did get some exercise in the Toronto airport. 15 minutes to go through customs and security… Yeah, I didn’t make my connection. Well, I did, but only because they held the flight for me. My carry-on only challenge paid off: the only reason I made the flight was because I had no checked luggage.

I made it to my 1pm class on Monday. My flight landed at 11:30am, so I even had time to go home and take a shower!
I still haven’t completely recovered, but my voice is slowly coming back, the sore throat is almost gone and I’ve been awake for at least 4 consecutive hours.

Now to catch up on all the schoolwork I missed…

Everyone should have friends like this.

May 31, 2010

My buddy Skip stumbled across the Raid Warning Holy Paladin Round Table podcast. Since he’s always been the helpful type, he mapped out my keyboard in case I should ever go with a Flash of Light build. As you can see, he completely understood the message that you shouldn’t play with just one button, so he made me two:

He also put together something more elaborate for the progression-oriented Flash of Light paladin who needs to keep gearing up:

I found them adorable so I thought I’d share ;D

Also, in case anyone was concerned that I’d fallen off the planet (I’m sure no one was, but just in case), I do have a full length blog post about the Lich King fight written and polished, but I got in my head that I want A SPECIFIC screenshot for it. I’ve been asking around, but it looks like I’ll have to wait until the next time I see the fight. Which I’m hoping will be tomorrow.

Dearest Deyndor…

February 15, 2010

Now that the truth is out, I can post here about all the fun I had being Deyndor’s secret admirer for the weekend.

And did I EVER have fun! I did my “required” tasks by posting three comments hinting to my identity (saying I’m female is a hint, yes it is!) in his “admirer weekend” post.

But because I can never do things the way I’m supposed, I got a little crazy. Since Deyndor doesn’t allow anonymous posting, I made an email account (deyndorsfangirl@gmail.com I think it was). While I was filling in the email field, I figured I might as well fill in the website field too, so I made a Deyndor Fan Twitter.

And while I was making a Twitter, I figured I’d go all the way and made a Formspring.

I’ll admit, I was a little worried about overdoing it. He didn’t seem too creeped out, though, so I kept at it. He even played along with the formspring, asking me a question.

I noticed a couple of the bloggers who took part in the event received some “don’t you find that creepy?” comments from readers. The thing is, most of us who signed up already knew each other to a certain extent. We saw the list of participants beforehand, so we knew that whoever was leaving us anonymous comments was someone we’d spoken to before in chat, on Twitter, on each other’s blogs, on Blog Azeroth. It wasn’t at all like getting stalked by a stranger.

I’d like to give a shoutout to my wonderful admirer, the lovely Shawndra from the Escapist Scroll. If you haven’t seen the comments she left me, I encourage you to check them out! Especially the Poe poem she adapted. I <3 my secret admirer!

Finally, I'm going to publicly thank Dristanel for coming up with this great idea. This is probably the best Valentine’s Weekend I’ve ever had. Coming up with ways to stal- err, I mean admire Deyndor was a blast and coming home to kind, anonymous messages on my own blog was a wonderful ego-flattering experience. And as you all know, I’m all about ego-flattering experiences.

Love is in the Paladins

February 9, 2010

I don’t do link love very often. I’m always afraid I’ll forget someone deserving of mention. Still, I’ll make a exception this once. After all, this week is a great opportunity to say a few words about the paladin blogs in my paladin blogroll, as well as introduce some newer blogs that I look forward to adding to my blogroll over the next few weeks.

We might not be as tight as the tree bloggers (I guess there’s just something about a forest sticking together), but I can assure that there is just as much awesomeness (if not more!) in our corner of the community.

I’m going to be as inclusive as possible, but the internet is a big, big place. If anyone reading this knows of a pally blog that I don’t, feel free to share it in the comments. Of course, there’s no point in linking to dead blogs, I’m sticking with blogs that have been updated in the past month.

Say hi to our newest Pally neighbors!

I get so excited when I see new pally bloggers introducing themselves. It’s great to hear new voices, read new takes and have new people to argue. Here are some promising voices I look forward to hearing more from:

Crusader Shock – Check his webpage, it looks gorgeous! Josh’s blog is still in the very early stages, but, with his nice, easy to read writing style and his prot paladin and Guild Master experience, he’s off to a great start.

Hand of Argus – Orthien is another prot paladin and GM who just recently started sharing his adventures with the blogosphere. His blog is still very new, but it seems like there’s a lot going on with his guild and that he’ll have quite a few stories to share with us over the next few months!

The Physician Log – Many of you may recognize Dristanel by her fantastic comments on my blog. Also, see my new spoon RSS feed icon? Yep! That was her! Isn’t it cool? I was thrilled to learn that she was starting her own blog on Holy Paladins and even more thrilled when I saw the quality of her blog and her writing. She also plans on bringing some role playing to the table, which I’m looking forward to reading. She’s definitely one to watch! Oh, and fellow bloggers, sign up for her secret admirer event! Should be tons of fun!

A Healadin’s Tear – We’ve got not one, but TWO! new holy paladin blogs! Tarinae is a GM and seasoned holy paladin. And do you know what especially exciting about her? (I’m assuming it’s a she…if I’m mistaken, forgive me!) According to her about page, she’s a PvP healer! I really hope she has a lot to say about PvP, because I sure have a lot to learn!

The V-Team – We’ve got not one, not two, but THREE holy paladins! Vailladin seems a bit shy, but maybe we can get him to open up. He writes from a more casual perspective that is very easy to relate too. His “New to Level 80” series was fabulous idea and he does an excellent job covering the topic. Another blogger to watch!

EDIT: After I hit the public button, several bloggers I wasn’t familiar with stopped by to introduce themselves. I’m thrilled to add them to their respective categories and say a few words about each! In the new blogger category is Labrat. Her blog name, Paladin Pants, is my sort of thing! She’s not exactly new, you may know him from Atomic Nerds, but her pally blog is still in the gathering momentum stages. Her articulate, opinionated posts on topics varying from guild tales to prot paladin intricacies to reflections on in-game social interactions caught my eye immediately. Now, if you don’t mind, I need to excuse myself so I can finish read her excellent musings.

The Essence of Paladining

It is a common misconception that, in order to be a good paladin, you must roll your face on your keyboard. Or mindlessly spam two spells. Or hit a 9696 macro.

Pff, believe me, it’s so much more than that! There’s a whole essence, a spirit, a lifestyle that comes with being a paladin. If you can’t feel like a paladin, deep down in your soul, then you’re a pathetic excuse for a paladin. To really get in touch with your true paladin self, I highly recommend you take to heart the wisdom of Jong and Megan at Forbearance and of Antigen at Haz Mace, Will Raid.

If you’re a veteran at paladining and have broadened your horizons to the world beyond the limitations of the Light, and perhaps even to the world-that-is-not-WoW, then I’m sure you know Galoheart, the Ardent Defender. I’m also sure that, like me, you hope that his vacation from WoW will be a short one and that you’ll be hearing from him again soon.

The Endless Wells of Information

A long time ago, back in December 2005, there was an introductory blog post that ended with “Here’s hoping that this is a successful experiment.” That blog post written by no other than Rohan from Blessing of Kings. For over four (FOUR!) years, an eternity in internet time, Rohan has been providing solid paladin and WoW content. Many paladin blogs come and go over the years yet Blessing of Kings remains a pillar for our corner of the internet. If there was a lifetime achievement award for WoW bloggers, I would nominate him in heartbeat. I’m curious as to whether he considers his “experiement” to be sucessful…

Equally fitting into the endless and diverse information category is the strange and colourful Paladin Schmaladin. The addition of Hofflerand and Honorshammer to Team Ferraro has even further increased the scope of the blog’s already large niche. While Ferraro tends to be somewhat marginal to the paladin and blogging community, Paladin Schmaladin remains an excellent source of information for paladins of all types, big and small.

Of course, no Paladin-information-link-lovefest would be complete without WoW.com’s Gregg Reece and Chase Christian, the Prot/Ret and Holy (respectively) columnists. I’m sure they don’t need an introduction, after all, who doesn’t know The Light and How to Swing it?

The Protadins

The other night I acted without thinking and impulsively volunteered to lead a raid. After my guildies pointed out what I had done, I took a deep breath, grabbed my notebook and immediately went to Divine Plea and The Children of Wrath. The well designed cribsheets by Adgamorix and Renaissance Man, respectively, were lifesavers! Besides their helpful raid leading notes, both protadin flavored blogs offer great insight into the game and make for great reads.

Most paladins, when they think of tanking, they think Honorshammer. And with reason! Many of us (yes, myself included) learned to pally tank by avidly studying Honor’s Code. Honors has such a gift for explaining things and for spreading his passion for tanking.

And if Honor’s Code is paladin 101 tanking blog, then Righteous Defense is a paladin 201 tanking blog. Like Honors, Rhidach is also an expert when it comes to translating tanking theory into plain English for the rest of us. Whenever I need to brush up on the latest news and trends on pally tanking, Righteous Defense is my first, and often my last, stop. And if providing solid tanking content wasn’t enough, Rhidach also has this knack of slowly letting his personality shine through his writing, a little bit at a time, making his writing style absolutely addictive.

Aaand, if Honor’s Code is paladin tanking 101 and Righteous Defense is paladin tanking 201, then Avenging Wrathy is paladin tanking 301. Paladin tanks wanting deep, complex theory discussions get their fix at Avenging Wrathy. Still, while Wrathy does cater to a more select audience, his warm and vivid writing style is anything but dry! Now, if only he wasn’t so busy getting crazy achievements and updated a bit more often…

When I want to read about tanking in a different flavor, I have the perfect blog on hand. You may think Killing’em Slowly is a Warlock blog and you would be right. But every now and again, Fuubaar takes center stage and talks about pally tanking with an energy I’m envious of. She doesn’t get nearly as much blogging limelight as she deserves, so I’m going to start a protest, right here, right now.

EDIT: Svenn from The Misadventures of Svenn is another blogger who stopped by to say hi after I published this post. He reflects on the game and the people who play it, shares the results of his experiments and gives his guildies some love, all while taking a creative and unconventional approach to his writing.

The Retadins

I keep hearing QQ about how ret paladins are taking up space everywhere. I disagree. There’s at least one place where they do not take up nearly enough space: the blogosphere. Retpaladin.com has something akin to a blog on it’s main page, but it’s not the same as a blog regularly updated by the same person. With the excellent Suicidal Zebra taking a prolonged break from blogging, it’s a good thing we still have Morrighan and Firespirit to keep us updated on the Retworld! Both seem to be unfortunately busy with their offline life so I am impatiently waiting for them to update Caer Morrighan and Light’s Fury, respectively. Morrighan’s guides and cheat sheets are a huge help to me whenever I get the urge to smack mobs around with a two hander and Firespirit’s musings and adventure tales get me thinking, but you know me, I always want more!

The Healadins

I have a confession to make! I only realized recently that The Holy Paladin and Holypaladin.net were two completely different sites! You have to admit, they have a lot in common, even beyond their names. Both have somewhat mysterious authors (although Sweetiebird from The Holy Paladin is a regular at Plus Heal) and both are focused on holy paladin information. Those are the two first places I go when “reviewing the literature” for my more…informative…posts.

If you want numbers, if you want some pointers from a healer who’s seen it all and if you want a blog that has character, Moar HPS! is the blog for you. Most of us paladin healers tend to walk on the safe side, afraid to rock the boat. But not Codi! Whether it’s rewriting best in slot lists, experimenting without addons or wishing the rest of us would be a bit less politically correct, she proves over and over again that she has guts and knows how to use them.

Another blogger with guts is I am a Paladin, who, I’m happy to say, is updating quite regularly these days. For years now, she’s been offering advice to, provoking thought in and entertaining paladins and non paladins everywhere in her unique, upbeat and completely fearless writing style.

A Touch of Arcane might sounds like a mage blog, but don’t let sounds fool you. Dreaming is very much a holy paladin blogger. Who dabbles in discipline priest affairs on occasion, yet still very much a paladin. For any new paladin getting the hang of healing, I highly recommend his “Healing Through” series for descriptions and tips to healing Halls of Reflection and the first few bosses in ICC.

If you’re a paladin looking to talk holy, then you might want to strike up a conversation with Zabery. He (of course!) doesn’t post often, but when he does, h brings up topics the rest of us don’t really stop to think about, such as appreciating Seal of Wisdom beyond the glyph bonus or the in-depth implications of the 3.3 Paladin changes.

Three holy paladin blogs I’ve recently discovered (read: who need to advertise themselves more!) are Holy Shock, Looking for More and Non-Squishy Heals. Ruhtra, Jeffo and Saunder, respectively, have interesting, very readable writing styles and speak of topics that are easy to relate to. By the way, those of you on the Bloodlust Battlegroup looking for some awesome people (like me!!) to PvP with, Saudner is getting a group together for Saturday March 6! He doesn’t allow anonymous or open commenting, but I’m he won’t mind receiving emails from interested parties!

And last but most certainly not least, Pheadra is one of my personal favorite bloggers. On DI The Tank, she writes about her experiences raiding, playing a holy paladin and, recently, making the difficult but rewarding jump to a more intensive raiding environment. Her posts are a delightful mixture of her personal, heartfelt adventures and of her thoughts and interpretations of her class.

EDIT: In my determination to get this post out on time, I forgot to mention the unbeatable Snottydin. Creation of the brilliant Tamarind, Snottydin is, like, totally a grl irl and omg like can totally solo heal WoW! Want a challenge? Keep a straight face while reading Snotty’s posts. I bet you can’t do it! (By, the way, I believe Tamarind accepts guest posts for Snottydin’s Awesome Blog. Please, an email is all it takes to keep Snotty alive and well!

Through the comments I received on this post, I got the opportunity to meet two new holy paladin bloggers! One of them, Hana, stopped by to introduce half of his (I think!) blog, Flash of Moonfire (no worries, I’m sure the druid half is excellent too!). He writes a lot of fight descriptions, but fortunately, he is good at it. And I mean good! He’s a natural storyteller and skillfully avoids the usual boss fight clichés. I also noticed a few arena mentions, which I hope to see more of!

Another person to introduce themselves is Silk from WoW – Silk’s Blog. I’m shocked that I had never heard of him (I think!) before! He doesn’t post very often, but what he doesn’t have in quantity, he makes up for in quality. His thoughtful, well organized posts cover the ins and outs of high end raiding, reflections on the game and good ol’ holy paladin guidance. Despite the apparent seriousness of his writing, I did chuckle at a few occasions while reading, leading me to believe that there’s a hilarious, tongue in cheek jokester hidden somewhere.

See! Paladin Bloggers Are Awesome!

My fingers hurt. I wish I had room to say more about each and every blogger in this post. There’s such great work and discussion on the paladin class across the blogosphere. I did my best to include everyone, but as I mentioned in the introduction, the internet is a big place! If you know of a paladin blogger who has updated their blog in the past month, please let me know!

Also a few paladins I didn’t include but who definitely deserve some recognition are the brilliant posters at Maintankadin and Plus Heal. There is a reason why I rarely (if ever) post on those sites: questions and discussions are responded to in ways more articulate, helpful and efficient than I could ever muster. If any of you regulars from those forums are lurking around here, I want to say thank you.

EDIT: Sure enough, there were even more wonderful paladin bloggers that I wasn’t aware of!

Pugging Pally is a fantastic paladin blog I just discovered and I don’t understand why I didn’t find it sooner. I added her at the end since she doesn’t exactly fit into any of the above categories. The author (who does not provide a name) tells her adventures as she levels a holy paladin through the looking for dungeon system. The quality of the writing is top-notch and I burst out laughing several times at the hilarity of her descriptions. A must read for anyone who’s ever leveled, or tried to level, a libram wielding character.

Teh Holidayz Post!

December 24, 2009

You’ll have to excuse me, I’m not at my best.
I’ve been gone for a week.
I’ve been drunk since left,
And these so-called vacations will soon be my death…
*

My parents discovered that the only way to get me really talking is to keep me slightly buzzed and, as a poor starving college student, I don’t turn down free booze. My liver is going to be kaput at the end of these holidays. But it’s ok, I’m usually such a good girl that I need to make up for it somehow.

Apparently, even video games tell me I'm not a hat person.

So are you ready for Christmas?

I totally forgot to farm small eggs this year so I don’t have a kazillion gold a day rolling in. I also couldn’t be arsed to do the Winter Veil quests. Winter Veil is usually the only in-game holiday I follow religiously. Here’s why: I love this time of year with a passion. Bright colourful lights, delicious food in abundance, time to myself, sales at the mall, what’s not to love? And I find Winter Veil does a pretty good job of recreating the feeling, even though in-game stuff is nowhere as pleasant as the real thing. I hope skipping out this year doesn’t ruin the season for me. *crossed fingers*

I did get my in-game Christmas shopping done! On all three of my servers! I’m keeping it simple. Last year, I spent hours getting the mats together for Eternal Belt Buckles and Chocolate Cakes. Then I stayed up until 4 am on Christmas Eve, crafting, wrapping and mailing. And you know what? It was so silly. My gaming buddies would have been just as happy being singled out with a message saying “You Rock, love Ryk”. So, darling internet friends, guess what you’re all getting this year. :)

I don’t have plans for Christmas Eve.
This is why:

Guildie X: So are we raiding on Christmas Eve?
Raid leader: We’re not raiding on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve.
Guildie Y: Aw, now what I am supposed to do?
Guildie X: Ensidia raids on Christmas Eve.
Raid leader: Go join Ensidia then.

My family is really small and our Christmases are more relaxing time than anything else. When I was a kid, I’d be invited to my friends’ family’s IRL Christmas Eve raids, but apparently there’s an age limit on those invitations. So I’ll be drinking my parents’ Baileys and playing in the LFD. Which, I hate to admit, sounds way more appealing to me than dealing with drunk uncles anyway. Kinda bummed about not raiding though. How dare everyone else have a life.

Ooooooo, I’m excited to say, I did my Kris Kringle guest post! I made Gnomeaggedon‘s life difficult and added lots of pictures, I hope he forgives me. I’m sure you all have good taste, are subscribed to his blog and have seen it before reading this, but I figured I’d provide some links anyway for those who have yet to click on his feedburner button.

And someone will be guest posting here! I don’t know who it will be yet, but I can’t wait! I’ve never had a guest post before! (I’ve tried to get my funnier, more eloquent, non-blogging friends to write for me, but they just either give me really dirty looks or laugh like its the more hilarious joke they’ve ever heard.)

Happy Holidays everyone!

*The opening song to this post is from Spirit of the West and is called Home for a Rest.

EDIT: I made another guest appearance, this time on my bestest best friend Skip‘s blog. Remember to always /hug your druids.


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