Posted tagged ‘traveling’

Blizzcon and the longer way home

November 22, 2013

Now that everyone has forgotten about Blizzcon, I’m finally home with some time to write about it.

When I booked my vacation 6 months ago, I thought it would be a good idea to put Blizzcon in the middle, so I could participate in anything happening before or after. I didn’t expect to be flying East to New Jersey, then West to Anaheim, then East to New Orleans, then West home again. But it was worth it! And I did get to read a lot while in planes. I haven’t had time to read in so long, I was surprised I still remembered how.

Blizzcon was both a blast and a blur. I ran from panel to panel, from party to party, in hopes of seeing everyone and everything. During my past Blizzcons, I was all “COMMUNITY COMMUNITY COMMUNITY!”. This year, I barely socialized and spent most of my time enjoying the company of my guildies (of past and present).

I also stressed out a lot about the hotel. Like a lot! For the 4 months leading up to Blizzcon, my stomach was a knot and anyone who spent more than 5 minutes with me got an earful about how I was afraid the hotel would rip me off and about how I might disappoint my roommates and and and! To all of you, I am sorry! And I am pleased to say that everything worked out and no one got ripped off and my roommates were lovely and seemed happy.

It’s probably a surprise to those who know me only a little bit because my reputation as a carefree traveler precedes me, but the truth is, I stress just as much as the next person. Perhaps more. It takes me forever to make bookings, if I slip and make a mistake, it’s a tragedy, I spent a lot of time at night awake thinking about the things that could go wrong. And I don’t travel well at all. Flying makes my IQ plummet, screws up my sleep-wake cycle and makes me weepy and confused. But I do it anyway. Traveling is hard, it’s really really hard, but the payoff is worth it.

Anyway, I flew home Friday, in hopes of having a day off between then and going back to work on Sunday, but sadly, Alberta has been plagued with snowstorms and, consequently, sheer ice roads. I stayed with Fannon overnight, and spent all day Saturday driving home. Quite the harrowing experience, but I did make it back safely!

Blizzcon

There were, um, a lot of panels. I watched most of the WoW ones, which were interesting. I was happy to see how seriously they were taking the movie. I have hope that we’ll finally see a decent movie come from a video game. The new expansion is a little…well, we’ll see how it plays out. I don’t feel strongly about it because I don’t feel strong about WoW news until it hits me in the face and because it’s highly unlikely I’ll be playing with any seriousness in the next expansion.

I tried the demo. It was kinda fun. I was pleased until someone asked me what I thought of the new paladin abilities. Then it occurred to me that I didn’t even do the demo with a paladin. I just picked whatever happened to be highlighted on my screen, which ended up being a warlock. I’m such a bad blogger. (I also accidentally turned off the computer after I finished the demo, causing a lot of annoyance to the staff on site. I’m such a bad tester. I’m a bad warlock too. I spent more time running to my corpse then actually playing.)

Speaking of not playing the next expansion, my little heart broke a bit every time I’d excitedly start a sentence with “Next year/expansion/Blizzcon” only to remember that I have bigger plans in motion. I’m super excited about spending a year overseas, discovering a different world, but it’s harder than I expected to not see myself playing this game. It’s been so central in my life for the past 8 years. But it is time to move on. There’s a big world out there, and after that, I would like a family. There are also lots of lessons I’d like to take, other hobbies I’d like to experiment with and other work opportunities I’d like to explore, but that I haven’t been able to because the rare evenings I’m off work are tied up with raiding. Plus, I feel like my health is wavering. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t start moaning about how sleepy I was 2 hours into raid. And I raid super early. Until now, I wrote it off to spending up to 16 hours a day at work without so much as a pee break, but even on vacation, even after I was rested, I couldn’t do anything for more than a few hours at a time without sleep attacks. As my life becomes more and more of a struggle to stay awake, it seems like raiding probably isn’t the ideal after-work activity for me.

On the Blizzcon people side of things, despite my apprehensions, I absolutely loved my roommates (Anafielle, Kalesti and Ellumina). They were all so different and it was a pleasure to get to know each of them and hear their unique perspectives on WoW, on WoW players and on the convention. I also came across Elfie, Vidyala and Vosskah (I kept running into them everywhere…there’s a force that brings Alberta gamers together, I think!), Hestiah (who is so nice! She waited with me when I forgot to print my ticket confirmation and helped me find my friends when I got lost!), Jasyla, Rhidach and others that I don’t remember because OMG SO MANY AWESOME PEOPLE IN SO LITTLE TIME!

One of the highlights of the convention was the pally meetup (I think it was planned/promoted by Theck and Anafielle, thanks guys! You rock!). I wasn’t sure if holy pallies were invited, but I showed up anyway because I do that. I ended up running into Megacode and some of his guildies and a few other holy pallies. Here’s a picture of me and Megacode (all good Blizzcon posts should contain pictures).

holypallies2

And, of course, the guildies, with whom I spent most of my time. Both the Conquest crew and the Cadenza crew were fantastic. To the point where I wonder what I must have done in past lives to deserve having such awesome people in my current life. These people are what make Blizzcon so much fun. I don’t have to worry if I say stupid stuff (worse case scenario, they’ll get a good laugh at my expense), I don’t have to worry about being awkward or too nerdy, and well, I just don’t have to worry. It’s a welcome break from the pressures of the non-WoW people world. And the jokes are funny, and the beer flows, and the hours get so so so short. Oh, and this year especially, the food was good. With Conquest, the official guild meetup was held at a fun brewery, and Cadenza’s meetup was at a japanese barbeque. Both times I ate until I was about to burst! The choice of restaurant for each guild was pretty appropriate because the two different styles really reflected each guild’s very different (but equally delicious) cultures.

Pre/Post Blizzcon

I find it funny that people seem surprised that things went really well between the boy and I. I don’t know if it’s the internet thing, or the distance things, or my fierce independence, but every time I say “It was awesome!”, I get a reaction of “Really?”. You’d think they’d know me by now. I never do things the way I’m supposed to, and that includes dating.

Anyway, I got to meet his parents (he gets to meet mine over Christmas). They’re quite traditional and from a different culture, and even though I was preemptively briefed on proper protocol and stuff, I still panicked a little during the initial gift exchange. (“OMG WHAT DO I DO, WHAT DO I SAY, I WANT THEM TO LIKE ME!!!”) They seemed ok with me, though, and they were very nice, despite the fact that I was absolutely terrified. (Perhaps, even, it may have been the first time in my life where my ridiculous and disproportionate shyness came in handy.)

We went to New York city for two days and I got to see my first musical on Broadway! (I have seen Rent in the past, with the Broadway cast, but it was in Toronto so it doesn’t count.) Rock of Ages was most excellent, and OMG THEIR VOICES! Even though I went in expecting the best of the best singers in the genre, I was still blown away by how beautiful and breathtaking their voices are. I have so much trouble believing that this music was coming out of real human beings.

Our hotel in New York, The Paramount on Times Square, was pretty cool too. I’d been warned that hotel rooms are tiny in New York, and yeah, it was pretty small. The little bed barely fit in the room and I barely fit in the bathtub. But the location was awesome (RIGHT ON TIMES SQUARE!), the smart use to storage space gave me ideas (I have picture of how the towels were stored behind the bathroom mirror. Brilliant! I want that in my house.) and the design fit the Broadway ambiance. Got a good deal on it too. Barely 100$ for a 4 star hotel on Times Square? YES PLEASE! (Just to give you an idea, even the 2 star hotels at worse locations we looked at were above 300$/night.)

And we ate, and ate, and ate, and ate. I feel like all I did that trip was eat and sleep! We ate ramen (and I got an authentic New York experience of waiting an hour to get a table), Japanese buffet, Philly cheese steaks (we went all the way to Philly to get cheese steaks!), Italian pasta, Korean barbeque (where I met my guild/raid leader for the first time! He’s much less scary in person than online.), some Chinese homecooking (after all that restaurant food, it SO nice to eat some yummy homemade food!), Dim Sum and a few meals of Pho. I’m probably even forgetting something. After that leg of the trip, I think it was the first time in my life where I wasn’t sick and still didn’t feel like eating anymore.

After Blizzcon, we met up in New Orleans. Again, we ate a lot! I really enjoy cajun cooking so I led us from restaurant to restaurant until we were both worried about bursting. I made it to some live music at the Spotted Cat this time and we did the swamp tour, both things I regretted not doing last time I was in NOLA. We were really unlucky with the weather, though. It was so cold. Even for someone coming from Canada, it was freaking cold. As a result, we didn’t see much wildlife during the tour and I didn’t want to spend much time outside. We drank disappointingly very little alcohol because, seriously, who wants cold drinks when you’re freezing?

And that concludes the summery of my vacation

I got a lot of stuff done before I left on holidays and things have calmed down at work (most of my free time over the past three months was dedicated to writing this application for my work, hence the lack of WoW and pally-ing), so I finally have some time to myself. I actually sat on the couch this morning for, like, an hour. AND IT WAS GLORIOUS. I can seriously get used to this time to breath thing. So yeah, I’m hoping that this break from all the stress will help me write some more.

As for the next trip? Christmas at my parents house in Cape Breton. I can’t wait!

This Just In: Student 4 Life Graduates

June 1, 2011

After 10 years of post-secondary education, including:

- 2 years of community college general sciences (graduating with a DEC – Sciences de la Nature and an IB Diploma)
– 3 years of psychology (graduating with a B.A. Psych)
– 1 year of easy courses to qualify for pharmacy school
– 4 years of pharmacy school (graduating with a B.Sc. Pharm),

I finally get to step out into the real world. Within a few months, I should be able to live in a real apartment, take cheap ramen out of my diet (upgrading to expensive ramen), quit obsessing over money, and work no more than 37 hours a week.

I get asked the question often, so I’ll answer it before it comes up again. No, I didn’t start young. I’m just really immature for my age.

The last month, simply put, sucked. I knew it would be rough, but knowing it and living through it are, yeah, two different things. My licensing exams, all three of them, were in the last week of May, mixed in with graduation formalities and a cross-country move. For a month, I put my life on hold and reviewed everything I had learned in the past 4 years. And ate a lot of fast food. Like tons of fast food. As in, I’ll be doing sit-ups for weeks to recover from all the fast food.

Of course, nothing ever goes as planned and, because clearly I wasn’t going through enough hell, my roommate came up with the wonderful idea of re-doing the kitchen as I’m trying to study and pack. (Which didn’t help in resisting the fast food cravings.) So while I’m stressed out of my mind, I was woken every morning and kept up every night by noise, dust, kitchen supplies all over the place and strangers breathing down my neck.

By the night before my first exam, my room (and state of mind) looked like this:

Please don’t tell any future landlords.

My lowest point, however, I think was on my last day in Newfoundland. I had my grad party that night (a big formal affair), and spent all day packing boxes. I was stressing because I was nowhere near done, but needed to get ready for grad. I stepped into the shower, only to discover than the renovation guys had cut off the hot water. I tried washing my hair in cold water, but it didn’t work out for me.

I’ll leave the scene of me sitting in a ball on the floor of my room with my wet hair sticking up, boxes and unpacked belongings scattered around me, to your imagination. It’s funny now, but I probably would have yelled at anyone telling me it was funny at the time.

Mixing Raiding and School

There’s enough I can say on the topic to write a series of stand-alone posts, but the end of it is, and I might change my mind a few years from now, that it was worth raiding throughout pharmacy school.

I raided late at night (mostly because that’s when my guilds raided, but it did help since I’d usually study until 9:30 or 10pm) and was therefore tired and cranky all day. I missed a lot of class because I was up late raiding. Heck there were courses I never went to outside of exams.

But I don’t regret it. My grades were average. Maybe they would have been slightly above average if I hadn’t been raiding. But even now that I don’t have to be in denial anymore, I still don’t regret it.

I know it sounds weird coming from someone who just did 10 years of college of, but I’ll say it: I hate school. I hate it. I’ve always hated it. I like learning. I like the fields I studied. I like being around intelligent and inspiring individuals. But I hate the pressure, I hate the competitiveness, I hate grades, I hate having to sit still all day, I hate having no money. School has always been a waiting game for me. Bite the bullet, do what they tell you and the ordeal will end eventually. (I also hated being a kid and can’t understand people who miss being kids. Being a kid was another, awful, waiting game. I’m thankful every day that it’s over.)

Raiding kept me sane. It let me be around like-minded people (I both adore and admire all of the classmates with whom I’ve had the honour of sharing several years of my life, but I had very little in common with the majority of them. I was cursed with the personality of an engineer but the brain of a liberal arts person.) It gave me something to look forward in the evenings. It gave me something to work at for my own pleasure, something on which I was never graded.

I know some people take raiding and competition very seriously, but not me. I raid because I love to raid. I do a good job because I like doing a good job. Oh, I’ll joke about healing meters, but that’s all it is, joking. Same goes for my blog. I’ll jokingly brag about stats but blogging is really where I get away from the numbers and the mediocracy that’s so often rubbed in my face. The blog does what it wants. I don’t do adds, I’d never accept to write about WoW for money. The blog and raiding are the two places where it doesn’t matter if I do well or not. The blog and raiding are where I can sit back and enjoy the journey, without worrying about whether or not my life will be screwed up at the destination.

When I Stopped Concentrating on Raiding

I quite raiding seriously at the beginning of January. I miss a lot. You guys have no idea. No amount of emo whining can really translate how much I miss it.

You know how some women get to about 30 without every wanting kids, then suddenly starting hating everyone with kids and can’t live with themselves until they get pregnant? (I really hope this doesn’t happen to me. Pregnancy is just uggg. I’ll adopt, thank you very much.) Anyway, that’s what it’s like. I can’t read Twitter during general raid hours anymore. I fight back tears whenever I’m asked about my WoW life. I rage at anyone who complains about seeing raid content too often. (I wish I was in a position to be in raid burnout!)

Still, I grit my teeth and tell myself it was for the better. It was nice, not being exhausted during clerkship. I did a good job because I wasn’t tired. Not good enough to be “above average“, but hopefully I made a difference in a few people’s lives.

I got to meet a lovely guild who welcomed me with open arms and understood that I was only going to be with them for a few months. (I’ll have another post dedicated to them later this week.) I actually plan on leaving my alts with them when I move on. While I missed raiding in a more intense environment, their jokes, their familiarity, their rich lives outside of game and their laid back attitude made my hiatus enjoyable. I tried to stay distant – no use in getting attached when I know I’ll be leaving – but they managed to break me a few times. By now my raid leader, Thespius, probably knows more about me than he ever wanted to. He’ll be spending his next few months trying to erase his memory.

I’m terrified that I won’t find my ideal guild after I move. Working late hours on the West Coast isn’t conducive to progression raiding.The fact that I don’t have any end boss kills (lets not even talk about heroics) doesn’t help either. I know that a lot of guilds are recruiting, so if you’re running a late night, 25 man progression raid team and are looking for a dedicated holy paladin, hit me up.

My Grad Present to Myself: Traveling Across the Country

In a couple of hours, I’ll be taking a flight to Edmonton, to look for a place to live. I decided to turn my trip back East into a (well-deserved, if I do say so myself) vacation. I picked up a Discovery Pass (no, I can’t take the train. I’d love to take the train, but trains in Canada are waaaaaay more expensive than trains in the US!) and plan to make full use of it. Cities on the itinerary are:

Edmonton
Calgary
Winnipeg
Milwaukee
Chicago

If you’re in one of those cities and care to buy me coffee (or let me buy my own coffee if you’re a cheapo) let me know! Fannon is also planning a meetup in Edmonton this Friday (June 3), so if you’re in the area and want in, give him a shout.

Oh, and in case you were wondering what my room looked like after exams were over with and my move was under control…

Cuba, sí

April 17, 2011

Tomorrow night, I have to hop on a plane and head to a country with very minimal internet access. I know. It’s tough. There I’ll have to look at amazing scenery, prance around a beach in a bikini, eat endless amounts of free food and drink as much free booze as a I can handle. It’s a tough, tough life.

So I’ll be internetless for a week, which means no email, no answering comments and no Twitter. Try not to miss me too much.

But! I got a number of internet thingies done before I leave, so if you need your Bossy Pally fix (my ego knows no bounderies ;D), be sure to check my Holy Pally 101 post at TopRosters (which, in the end, took the appearance more characteristic of a guide rather than a real 101). Leave as much love or criticism as you wish, but be patient since I won’t get around to answering until next week.

And if you’d rather hear my suave (and by suave I mean squeaky and offkey) voice, the first real episode of the Double O podcast is ready for your listening pleasure. We had a lot of fun recording it. We use an article from Kotaku as a starting point to talk about our experiences as being women and being gamers. Men are welcome too, of course.

The editing process for that one ended up being a nightmare. My editing software kept crashing, and when I finally managed to reach the end of the podcast (after no less than 6 hours), it wouldn’t let me export the file to a more…useful…format. As I was tittering on the verge of a nervous breakdown, Fimlys came to my rescue by suggesting I play the file on my computer and use Audacity to record it.

It was one of the moments where the light shines on you and you hear naked baby angels singing.

Audacity record sounds from computer” was what I typed in Google. Had to jump through a few hoops (Windows Vista apparently does not approve of recording sounds from your computer), but in the end, I finally had a podcast.

Last week we got some feedback about awkward silences, so I was very aggressive with cutting them out. I….also….tend to….talk with…a lot…of….pauses. So I cut in there in hopes to make myself sound less verbally challenges. The end result isn’t perfect as some pauses probably should have been left in, but, hey! there are NO MORE awkward silences!

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.

But This is Where It Ends, This is Where It Ends

September 7, 2010

But this is where it ends
This is where it ends
Call the police and call the press
But please, dear God, don’t tell my friends

– This is Where It Ends, Barenaked Ladies

I’ve had that song stuck in my head all weekend. The summer is ending, of course, not the blog. The blog, hopefully, will actually pick up now that I’m back on a regular schedule and will have plenty of hours of staring at a computer screen at the library.

The whole song actually does feel appropriate, though, after last weekend. I knew it would be rough to spend my last few days on the West Coast- and my birthday- alone in a city that likes to violently scrape the thoughts from my mind the way you’d scrape burned egg from a frying pan. What I wasn’t accounting for was when Life nailed me to a wall and hurled Herself (Life, of course, doesn’t have a gender, but I always call Her “She”) at me until I gave up. One day I’ll tell those stories, but not today.

Still, in the end, I think it was worth it.

As I was walking east on Georgia, following the overpass, heading back to my hotel one last time to pick up my luggage and get ready to go to the airport, I looked to my left. The setting sun lit up one particular building. Just under the roof it read Everything Is Going To Be Alright. Do you ever feel as if Life actually tries to converse with you?

Over my summer spend adventuring the West Coast, I’ve found comfort in two novels, one by Elizabeth Gibson, Eat Pray Love (which I swear I read before I knew it was going to be a movie!), a tale of the world traveling adventures of a recent divorcée in her 30s and one by Alice Steinbach, Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman, the Europe traveling adventures of a long divorced woman in her 50s. I love how they’re so different from myself age-wise and lifestyle-wise, but as solo travelers, the lessons we learn about ourselves and the internal challenges we face are the same. And the mornings where I woke up sobbing in my pillow, wondering why the hell I was doing this to myself when I could be back in my hometown living a NORMAL AND SIMPLE life, it helped to know that I’m far from the only female solo traveler who’s felt that way.

You meet a lot of people when you travel alone for months at a time. But most of all, you meet yourself.

All the Blogging I Missed!

I think I’ve read most of the major discussions, but my time was so limited that I couldn’t participate much. I loved reading all the feminism posts- I’ve taken part in (and started) a few WoW-gender trends in the past, but this was by far the largest and most elaborate discussion on the topic I’ve seen so far. Since I’m the ultimate people watcher, I especially enjoyed hearing about everyone’s personal experiences.
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15 Things I Learned from my Vacation *with pictures!*

May 12, 2010

I’m back home now (as a manner of speaking) so I should get back to my regular blog posting shortly. But just before all is back to normal, I thought I should share all the things I learned from my 2 weeks of backpacking around British Columbia. Of course, I learned some interesting things. Such as what to do when you fall out of the boat while white water rafting, why you shouldn’t swim under trees in rivers and the stages of mountain pine beetle infestations. Nothing, however, is more valuable than the life lessons cast upon you while hiking around in the wilderness (and urban wilderness), carrying your own weight on your back. These life lessons, I share with you. Some pictures included.

1 – I am skilled at charming the following: 2 year olds, cats, dogs and llamas (this actually isn’t a very good picture, the photographer wouldn’t wait long enough to take them)

2 – When meeting up with guildies who live on the other side of the country, all of the following will occur:
– I will get a rash on my face from the climate change (yay makeup)
– My new eye makeup remover will make my eyes red and puffy
– I will knock over a table
– I will spill coffee all over myself
So much for trying to not be a stereotypical geeky chick.

3 – Wetsuits never fit. Most of the time they’ll be too small, but every now and again they’ll be a dozen sizes too big. Big wetsuits are easier to put on, but you’ll freeze to death in them.

4 – Nothing forges a bond with a group of Japanese teenagers quite like jumping off a cliff into a Canadian river in the first week of May. Regardless of language, cultural and age boundaries, those who freeze together, stick together.

5 – I have no idea what animal this is, but apparently they cross the road a lot in the Shuswap area.

6 – Quick Dry clothes are the greatest invention in history. Anyone who argues has never been caught by a rain storm followed by a hail storm while mountain biking around the Okanagan.

7 – If you injure yourself during your trip, it will invariably be a part of your body you’re not allowed to complain about.

8 – The Auberdine docks were inspired by the docks in Chase.

Which one of these goes to Stormwind again?

9 – Ashenvale also exists IRL

10 – When traveling alone, avoid reading novels that contain a love story, especially ones with good sex scenes. Especially if you’re staying in the same hostel as 3492384723 super hot german guys. If the frustration doesn’t kill you, it will cause you to go insane.

11- When visiting your Asians friends in Richmond, expect them to bring you to bubble tea…and have you read Japanese fashion magazines…and convince you to eat Spicy Pig’s Ear (which is apparently literally ears from a pig). (Also nevermind the really unflattering picture, this was taken pretty late at night)

12- Stores in Vancouver sell cream that whitens your skin. Why the heck anyone would want do that is beyond me, but apparently it sells very well. I’ll pass tyvm, gimme some bronzer.

13 – Bridges make great picture taking locations. Please admire this view of Vancouver as seen from the Burrard bridge.

14 – Sea Monster Sushi destroys hunger and is delicious for you.

15 – No matter how hard I try to avoid being a typical tourist, sometimes I break down and take pictures next to touristy objects such as the Gastown steamclock. Especially if it means showing off my new sandals. OMG LOOK AT MY NEW SANDALS.

Thus ends my adventures of wearing the same 3 outfits, arguing with bus drivers and complaining about the weather (sidenote: despite all the QQ from locals about how Vancouver gets nothing but rain, Vancouver was the place that gave me the best weather. I EVEN MANAGED TO WEAR A DRESS ONE DAY!)

And now, back to our regular programming.

Watching WoW from the Bleachers

May 5, 2010

Guildie: Did you see we got LK down on 10 man a couple weeks ago?
Me: I did. I wasn’t invited and I’m bitter.
Guildie:…you didn’t have an internet connection.
Me: So? I’m sure there’s a way to do raid invites via phone.
Guildie: But…you’re busy wine tasting and jumping off cliffs into freaking cold rivers and stuff like that.
Me: I DONT CARE! I HATE YOU ALL AND I’M GOING TO GO SIT IN MY CORNER NOW. *sob*

I miss WoW. In the past 3 weeks, I’ve raided once. I’ve logged into the game a few times and have been trying to keep on the drama (which isn’t too hard to do, Conquest tends to be rather quiet in the drama department). But between crappy (and sometimes nonexistent) internet and trying to not be rude to the friends I’m visiting or people I’m meeting along my travels, WoW has been put on the backburner.

I even went for 48 hours without an internet connection. FORTY EIGHT HOURS! That means 48 hours of no blogs, no checking the guild website, no vent, no twitter, no email and no WoW. Oh the horror! Of course, it’s always the most remote locations that have no internet, so I spent a lot of time wrapped up in a blanket with a good book (I just teared through Kushiel’s Mercy…so so good! I want to see how the story turns out but I don’t want the series to end!). Had lots of girly daydreams about sexy sadistic princes. I secretly watched hockey games (don’t tell anyone!) and drank tons of local beer. I explored small towns and large forests. I went white water rafting and jumped off a cliff into a Canadian river in the first week of May. 6 hours later, I’m still shivering.

The break is kinda nice. It’s also frustrating. Thankfully I don’t have the time right now to fine tooth comb the logs, otherwise my head would explode. Whenever I get the chance, I’m begging my guildies for news. What did you kill? Who screwed up what? Who joined? Who left? I hate having to watch progression from the bleachers.

When we got LK down on 10 man, it was bittersweet. I was excited that after all the work we all put into it, we finally got it. I was sad that I was house hunting during the raid and couldn’t be there. When a second 10 man group didn’t kill LK I was disappointed, but also relieved. Same with hearing our 25 man stories. Annoyed that we’re not progressing, thrilled that I’m not missing anything memorable.

As much fun as I’m having on my trip, I just can’t wait to get back in the game. I’ve never looked forward to a Monday this much before. Hopefully they haven’t forgotten all about me.

Speaking of memorable events, I’m excited to announce that the Raid Warning Podcast is doing a holy paladin round table and that yours truly will be taking part!

If there are any (holy paladin related) topics you’d like to hear me talk about, please let me know or get in touch with Brian and Seven.

And with that I need to get back to bed. Hypothermia makes me sleepy.


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