Ice Cream at the End of the Universe

You know that feeling when you’re working two jobs and you start seeing the numbers on your bank account climb? That’s a great feeling, yeah? Right before you realise you gotta pay rent. Again. Why do you have to pay rent every month? Who came up with that system?

In other news, I’ve had my period anniversary and I celebrated… by having my period. But I mean, how often do you get your period on the same day you got your first period? I think it’s significant. I also can’t believe I’ve been bleeding every month for years. Years as in decades. Okay… one decade and a bit. Still. That’s a lot of blood. I think someone on tumblr once worked out that over your lifetime you spend seven years bleeding. Seven years of blood! That’s a lot of blood. I wonder if you could forge a sword from the iron of seven years’ worth of blood.

Also, it was long museum night again here in our lovely little town and what better way to blow my hard earned cash than by gaining even more useless knowledge with some trusty smarty-pants friends.

Everyone flaked out on me. Okay, so they didn’t flake… Boyfriend’s sick (got the sniffles), friend one is sick (got a worse case of the sniffles), friend two is not sick but otherwise engaged (presents at a motherfucking conference, go friend, that’s my friend!), friend three does not live here… So what’s an ‘ardworking independent modern woman to do but go on her fucking own. Which I did.

It’s glorious and I don’t understand why I don’t do things alone more often.

I mean… for one I could pick the museums I wanted to visit without any regard whatsoever for someone else. Then I could go at my own pace. Get absolutely lost and be in no hurry. Talk to literally no one except the customary “Hello, one ticket please.” Hang out longer in one section and breeze past another one that didn’t interest me. Wonderful, elating selfishness!

This year’s museums were Technological, Film, and observatory. Bit disappointed about the observatory because the waiting time for the telescope was over an hour and I was already too tired to sit it out, but oh well. Just have to come here some other time when there’s not the entire supply of the city’s school-age children on the loose. Also, the guy doing the usual astrophysics presentation was getting on my nerves. I mean… you’re watching the ocean from the point of view of a grain of sand. You have no more but a snapshot of the universe and you try to stuff it into a corset of numbers. Don’t tell me the universe will just end in 22 billion years, according to everything you know right now, and then that’s it because entropy. We’ve had thermodynamics for less than two hundred years, you don’t know jack! I’d be surprised if you guys even got the age of the universe right. And you didn’t even go over multiverse theory!

“According to the laws of…” Well, have you ever considered changing the definitions of these laws, because the universe doesn’t seem to give two shits. Look, science is good, science is great, but when it comes to the cosmos I’ll always pick the theory that makes the best story. So neener-neener-neener to your eternal end. Just wait what your successors will discover in the next only thousand years, and I’ll come back from the grave and laugh. If I’m still sitting here in 22 billion years and listen to how people believed it was the end of the world, I will absolutely point and laugh.

Technological was great, though little did I know that they had renovated the entire thing and I got a bit lost somewhere between an 1851 summer train carriage and the last surviving WW1 fighter jet. Big topic this year: urban studies. Yes, that’s a thing. Everything about the city, and let’s be real, city life is fascinating. I’m a big fan of the everyday section because… this is how people lived! Actual people! Who are now dead! Who used incredibly big and unwieldy vacuum cleaners and giant toothbrushes! And flat irons with coals in them! What I like the most about museums is the sense of epiphany they give me, the feeling of connectedness to entire generations of humans I never knew and who never knew me, and we’re all just trying to make a living and make life comfortable, and we’ll never know if someday the things we used every day without a second thought will be displayed so someone else can take their child to see it like “Look, little human, this is your history.” Hell, in fifty years I’ll probably see the make and model of the laptop I’m typing on right now in one of those glass cases, and all the future wide-eyed whippersnappers laughing at our way of life back then. Wait until you see our ergonomic chairs.

Exit through the gift shop.

I’m a grown adult, I tell myself slowly and mercilessly as I make my way to the exit. I’m an adult, I tell myself through clenched teeth as I force myself to put down the grow-your-own-crystal set and the archaeological kit for kids. I’m a motherfucking adult, I tell myself as I put the mini planetarium back on the shelf and return the plasma globe to its place, and I don’t need to overcompensate now for my lack of scientific toys in childhood. I realise I’ll be one of those parents one day who buys unholy amounts of stuff ‘for the kids’ and uses it all herself. Because I’m an adult. And I want to dig out my own dinosaur bone and look at it through the microscope!

So to console myself I bought an ice cream cone somewhere in the inner city. Yes, it is October. Yes, it’s a tad chilly. Yes, it was roughly 10 pm. And I still wanted nougat and coconut flavoured ice cream. Have I mentioned I’m an adult? Well, fucking adults can buy fucking ice cream in fucking autumn if they fucking want to! There must be some upside to this whole paying bills and cooking your own meals thing.

Anyway, this whole night had me thinking… why don’t I do things alone anymore? I did all the time when I was a teenager, I went to the movies alone because no one had told me it was weird, and I took walks alone and bike rides alone… granted I had no friends and now I do. Somewhere and somehow everything I did became a couple’s thing. Why is that? Why this push towards sociality? Why is being alone seen as something to be pitied? I think it does a body good to be away from people for a bit. Like, fuckers, how can I miss you if you’re never away from me? Seems like a healthy thing to do.

At least this way no one stops you from buying ice cream in October in the middle of the night. Apparently that’s frowned upon by most people. As if there was a bad time for ice cream. Hell, I’d eat ice cream while the universe was ending. According to thermodynamics, it’s going to be cold anyway.

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I’m not doing anything in particular, you wanna hear about it?

Updates from my life.

I’ve been at my new job for a month now and I think I’m doing pretty okay. At least no one’s complained about me so far, so that’s good, right? Still a bit confused about some of the administration-esque stuff but that’s just a matter of time. I suppose I might be confusing my boss a little, she keeps asking if I like it there. I’m like yeah, I like it, please keep me. Is it so weird for someone to like working? My colleagues probably think it is. I mean, we have these phases during the day when there is literally nothing to do, like nothing’s coming in, and they just go on facebook and stuff while I’m bored. And they keep telling me to be happy that there’s not much to do. I think I’m still suffering from newbie motivation.

It’s just like with the weather, I’m overjoyed that it’s raining again while everyone around me is tolling the death bell for summer already. I can’t wait for summer to be over. If summer was equipped with an agreeable temperature I wouldn’t mind so much. But the 30C and over nonsense? Keep that. Who actually likes sweating?

I suppose if this job thing takes off and I can find something full-time later on it’s gonna be time to move, I’m apparently not made for extreme climates. Is there a place on this planet that’s constantly within the 20-25C zone? No? Damn.

It’s like I came to Earth with a “Keep at room temperature” sticker attached. I’m like a fucking potted plant with feelings.

In other news I handed in the theory chapter of my thesis and as luck would have it, exactly two minutes before submitting my work I stumbled across more literature. That could be useful. Which somehow didn’t show its sorry face before that exact moment.

Speaking of thesis, how often can you use ‘disregard’ and ‘thus’ in 20 pages without sounding like you don’t give a fuck anymore? There really aren’t that many synonyms, though.

And then there’s the whole business of signing up to half a dozen scientific networks just so you can get access to ONE paper that looks promising and then you don’t get it because the author can’t be arsed to give you access and meanwhile you get notifications that your profile has been viewed, like no, don’t, stop looking at me! I’m just here to quote your shit, get off!

This might be the last academic thing I’ll ever write and I’m not sure if that thought should scare me.

And other than that… I’m doing nothing. I’ve never felt so lazy in my life. Sports? Nah. Computer? Still a month until Legion. Friends? Eh, every couple of weeks is fine. Family? They went to Greece and I haven’t seen anyone in over a month. Boyfriend? Lost that one to Pokemon Go.

I still have the sneaking suspicion that Pokemon Go is a cunning plan to get our overweight generation of children moving again. It’s damn more effective than any school programs, that’s for sure. Remember how old people used to complain that kids these days don’t play outside any more? Fixed that for ya! Everyone is playing this stupid game! If this was a Doctor Who episode it would be a plot by disgruntled aliens to take over the world. It’d work, too.

So I’m meeting a friend for coffee and we have coffee and then she says, hey, wanna take a walk in the park, weather’s so nice, so I’m like, sure. One minute in she pulls out her phone to just “quickly check” if there are any of those pesky little things about. Another minute and she joins the walking braindead. Half the city’s in the park. Almost no one’s moving. Everyone is staring intently at their phone. And I know I’ve lost.

I’m meeting some other friends a week later at my place. Everybody on their phone catching things I didn’t even know were in my flat. Also, apparently I live near a Pokestop. Hot?

Meanwhile I’m over here like… you fuckers laughed at my WoW pet collection and now you’re wasting precious cell phone space on this? You suck!

I mean, it’s not even like there’s a feature that projects a hologram of those things so it looks like they’re running along with you. You know? That would be nice, just having a little computer generated animal following you all day. It’d be cute! But no. Just run around like an idiot and get hit by a car trying to catch some fucking flappy ass bat thing.

And now suddenly, my reclusive shut-in semi-hermit of a boyfriend has the urge to take walks. Hey, let’s take a walk in the park! Flashback to when I said things like that last year and it was like… nah, gotta finish this Hearthstone game. Nah, I wanna play Hero League. Nah, Diablo season. Nah, people I don’t know are livestreaming their Heroes of the Storm games, don’t wanna miss it. Nah, don’t feel like going out, sick of people, I have to see people all day, I wanna stay home!

But give him some virtual Japanese clone failures and he’s all systems go! Need to walk 10 km to hatch this egg!

What’s happening to the world? Is this some sort of anti-terror strategy? Get everyone hooked on Pokemon so the suicide bombers and religious nuts are too distracted to blow something up because they found a Pikachu? I mean, whatever it takes, I guess.

Or is it exactly the other way round because I swear I could transport a dead body through the city on public transport and absolutely no one would notice. Hell, I’d probably make it to the cemetery (wha? where do you hide your dead bodies?), start digging, hide the body, cover grave, get rid of evidence, and saunter out of the cemetery. If there’s any witnesses all I’d have to do is get out my phone and scream “Oh my god, is that a Mewtew?!” or “Pokestop by the entrance, way at the other end of the graveyard!”

And I had this great idea for a zombie movie. Picture this: the sun is setting as a lone Pokemon trainer wanders into the graveyard without even noticing his surroundings. He sees a rare Pokemon. He aims his phone! Doesn’t notice the scuffling of feet behind him! Shoots pokeball after pokeball and misses as a grey hand reaches for him…

A blood curdling scream.

And then a cut, and we see a blood spattered phone falling to the ground. The Pokemon is still uncaught. Screen fade to black, next scene.

Or just, the zombie apocalypse has happened, but it’s less an apocalypse and more a bit of an inconvenience as a band of brave Pokemon trainers arms themselves with shotguns because a bunch of lurching corpses is no excuse to not Catch Them All.

Look, I think it’s funny, okay?

And yes, I will always and forever make fun of all the new and cool things the world can throw at me. I’m a contrary bastard and proud of it.

2015 Recap: A Year in Numbers

Let me speak to the manager, I want my money back! 2015 wasn’t the year the prophets Marty McFly and Dr. Brown promised us. But hey… wasn’t that bad, right? I can’t believe it’s been a year since I didn’t become a better person!

So sometime in mid January I thought, hey, wouldn’t it be cool if I started writing down all the productive things I do every day so I don’t feel like such a deadbeat slacker? Yeah, so… I didn’t always write everything down because I didn’t choose the slacker life, the slacker life chose me, so I forgot a few days here and then, but by and large, it’s a really long list. The thing I forgot the most to write down was, of all things, cooking. Probably because I debated with myself forever if that even counts as productive, then decided, hell yeah, not least because I hate it.

I’m not sure what to make of all these numbers, though. A 365 day year has 8760 hours. A full-time (40 hours a week) job has you working for roughly 2000 hours if you don’t take any vacation time which around here is usually six weeks. Considering I spent more than 3000 hours sleeping, and roughly 5000 hours being awake, nothing I did this year is really that impressive. Except my sleeping skills. So make of this list what you will.

Without further ado, here’s my life in from Jan 23 – Dec 30 2015:

I cooked 197 meals (probably more like 250, though).

Vacuum cleaned 178 times, averaging 59 hours.

Dusted a total of 179 times, which comes to about 29 hours.

Did 48 weekend grocery hauls (not counting all the small trips to the store in between, that’d be too many).

Ran about 122 loads of laundry.

Ironed clothes a total of 41 times because I always wait until the last possible moment to fucking iron.

Spent roughly 210 hours working my sort-of-job, but considering I do a lot at home, I’m not so sure about the actual number. (Told ya it’s not much.) Didn’t count the freelance stuff I did this year because I lost track. And didn’t write anything down.

Spent 4660 minutes doing sports, which is roughly 77 hours, so… could be better.

Including research, paper writing and presentation preparation, I had some 500 hours dedicated to university.

I was ill three times, once for almost two weeks, the other times only for a few days.

So what does this mean for 2016? Well, I should definitely work out more. And there’s still the getting-a-decent-job-issue that’s been nagging me since, dunno, infancy? Breaking news, my country apparently hit another record for unemployment. Joy. New Year’s resolution: Overthrow government. Anyway, what else? Ah yes, do more uni stuff. Though seeing as the Big Project, i.e. thesis, is slowly coming up this won’t be a problem (or will it? Dun dun DUUUN!).

I’m just kidding. My New Year’s resolution is to stop lying to myself about lifestyle changes.

Happy New Year! Here’s to a fresh start at binge eating, boozing and slacking off!

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Rant Day! Things That Had Me Like, “Arrrrgh!”, Nov 9 – 22

Item 1: Unable to sleep all night because Boyfriend has morphed into his alter ego El Snoro Malo the Mighty Snorer Before the Lord, debating with myself at 7 am whether to go to class, finally getting my ass out of bed and getting said ass ready to leave, and finding out that class was cancelled. Like… who’s the cosmic joker who was put in charge of my life? I want a name. I want a number. I want someone I can sue.

Item 2: So if I just ignored all my responsibilities and curled up somewhere for like a month or two, would that be a problem, d’you think?

Item 3: Doing advanced training. Is stressful. Not because of the content but because it’s a weird social situation. Who’s going to be there? How do I act? What do I wear? Business casual or more casual? What if I find no one to talk to? What if everyone hates me? Is this even worth my money? maybe I should just stay home. Which personality should I project? Perky and fun? Intelligent but a bit withdrawn? Slightly sarcastic? Very sarcastic? Slightly ditzy student with perky C cups? Hah, I wish…

And to the “Just be yourself” crowd, my self is having a panic attack, and therefore no help at all. Me “being myself” will probably end with another “Oh my god, why did I tell that spinach joke?” situation.

Item 4: The Negative Nancys that I call my loved ones. When I tell you I’m doing advanced training so I’ll have better job prospects, and when I tell you I’m taking more classes this semester so I can finish my degree sooner, and when I tell you I really have a lot of work to do and a stressful week, please refrain from using the following sentences: “What good is that going to do?”, “That will never work.”, “What, we can’t binge watch Doctor Who because you have some papers to write?”, “What, you’re going to do uni work on the weekend, too?”, “You’re wasting your money/time.”, “How can you be so stressed when you just have to read some stuff?”, “How hard can it be to type stuff?”

You. Are. Not. Helping. This is why I don’t tell you bitches anything.

Item 5: Never underestimate how mental work can exhaust you. And how hungry you get doing any sort of cerebral activity. Says I as the proud owner of aisle four.

Item 6: I still need a new bag. But I want a decent bag with lots of compartments and pockets on the inside, and affordable, thank you very much. And the only one I could find that fits my unreasonably high standards was in an American online store and shipping costs as much as the thing itself. And then there’s tax. And customs. And why the hell can’t I find a decent bag that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg and half a liver?!

Item 7: I’d love to complain more but I’ve got some research to do, bye.

WoW Wednesday: Skeletons Doing Stuff

If you run around Azeroth, or Outlands, or anywhere at all you’ll notice one thing: no matter where you go, there’s lotsa dead mofos. And sometimes, they make you wonder just how the hell they died, because… huh? So just in time for Halloween, let’s look how skeletons in WoW spend their free time.

1.

Skeleton number one, this guy who met with an accident in the middle of a drum solo:

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“Draenor must hear my sick beats!” *shooty shoot* “Everyone’s a critic!”

2.

And I’m sure we all have that one friend that you hate to play board games with because they take for-fucking-ever to make a move because they’re ‘thinking’:

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“Don’t rush me, Timothy.”

3.

The most fun for some people is going for a swim. Unless you’re in Draenor. Then you should probably stay as far away from any body of water as possible:

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4.

What’s more fun than being a corpse under water? Playing Romeo and Juliet in the fortress of Stromgarde:

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Two tinkers, both alike in dignity, In fair Gnomeregan, where we lay our scene, From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, Where gnomish blood makes gnomish hands unclean

Okay, so maybe I’m reading too much into that bottle. And maybe I’m slightly ignoring the overall gore of that table.

5.

If you’re in Stormwind, avoid the barber. Why? ‘Cause:

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I wouldn’t trust any barber who can’t even properly hide the corpses of his victims.

6.

It was a normal day until Sudden Inexplicable Death. These guys are chillin’ atop a mountain in Blasted Lands. The crystal in the middle looks suspiciously like some Twilight’s Hammer accessory. Maybe this is what happens to Twilight’s Hammer’s interns?

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“Join Twilight’s Hammer clan, they said. You’ll have fun, they said.”

7.

Such a nice day for fishing, you think. No one’s gonna gank you right out in the sticks in Tirisfal, you think.

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Until someone stabs you right in the… left butt cheek, apparently?

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Probably while trying to fish out this gnome who had a terrible plane accident:

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8.

And then there are these skeletons in Vale of Eternal Blossoms who can’t even.

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…decide what the hell they are, that is. They look like some sort of weird Saurok at a first look. Rest assured, they are not:

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If this is a reference to something I have absolutely no idea to what and I’m not sure I want to know.

9.

So your grandma was making her famous Nagrand apple pie and sends you to pick some apples, but then you took an axe to the face:

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On top of a flying piece of rock, in old Nagrand. That’s as good an explanation as any.

10.

This is one of those things that are not just weird, but take an express train to Uncanny Valley. First you think, oh how cute, a little raft.

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Then you get closer and it’s like, whuh?

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But the thing that throws me is not the pink doll, or the judgy looking birds, or the three empty bottles. It’s the fact that this fella has been dead long enough to completely decompose, yet somehow the fruit still looks fresh.

And that concludes this week’s skeletons. Next week we’ll look at… I dunno. I’m pretty busy this week. Let’s keep it a surprise!

 

WoW Wednesday: Twelve Things I Found Flying Around the Coasts of Pandaria

Pandaria might just be my favourite expansion when it comes to visuals. I mean, look at this:

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This is serene as fuck! I had something similar to this as my desktop background for a while. You really get the feeling that Blizzard went all out trying to create something beautiful, and if you compare it to earlier expansions your jaw should drop by how far graphics technology has come in only, what, no even ten years.

And because the guys at Blizzard have a sense of humour, they also keep adding funny little bits into the game. Because I already did one of these lists for Draenor, today you’re getting the previous expansion, Pandaria. Look, I even prettied myself up for you with my fall gear:

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#transmogswag

So I did the math and going through my old screenshots trying to find the right ones was actually taking up more time than just doing the tour again, so that’s what I did. See how nice I am? Here’s some things and places where quests don’t necessarily lead you. All along the coastline. Enjoy!

1. This reference to Up north of Jade Forest

 I mean…

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There’s also this Pandaren called Kar:

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And this grummle with a huge backpack:

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2. Sri-La

Maybe this shouldn’t be part of this list because I think there was actually a quest leading there,  but on the off chance that someone missed a quest or two, here it is anyway. This is a small Pandaran village off the coast of Jade Forest and you’ll know by the wreckage of Horde and Alliance ships all around that their peaceful life has just taken an unexpected turn.

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The good people here enjoy fishing:

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Lots of fishing:

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And now there’s interesting Goblin wreckage to look at while fishing (you can tell it’s a Goblin zeppelin because it’s crashed):

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3. This pandaren fisher who doesn’t like Alliance

This looks cosy, doesn’t it? Not if you’re Alliance, because this fella right here will start whacking you with his fishing rod:

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4. This little Pandaren fisher village in Krasarang Wilds:

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There’s this little guy with his giant goldfish:

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And this kid who looks exactly like the other kid who wants to be a shaman when he grows up:

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Maybe they’re twins?

And this kid flying a kite:

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5. Where Serpent’s Spine meets the sea:

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And from the other side…

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Eeegh!

6. This song reference:

This is a little pandaren called Adele:

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She’s rolling around a place called Widening Deep. Get it yet?

7. A big unfriendly kraken:

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There is actually a quest where you have to beat this thing. Apparently though, it doesn’t die, because it’s still floating around near the northern coast of Townlong Steppes, so if you’re planning on going for a swim there… don’t.

Generally swimming is a bad idea, there are big evil things in the water everywhere:

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8. This little cave north-west of Kun Lai Summit:

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Oh, what could be in there?

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Huh? A hozen giving a drum solo? On four bongos? I mean, there’s also bones…

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But mostly just this guy.

9. This hut containing a tuskarr and a hozen:

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 The tuskarr is named Wally. So… does that mean I found Wally?

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10. This flying tortoise:

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If you /wave at it, it will follow you for a bit, but it’s pretty slow.

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11. This woman swimming laps north of Kun Lai:

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And her enthusiastic pandaren trainer:

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12. The Secret Aerie:

Tucked between Kun Lai and Jade Forest you’ll find a little pandaren mountain village:

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Hard working pandaren building boats, because everyone on Pandaria is always somehow hammering on a boat:

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Arguing about pugs:

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Training falcons:

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This woman hacking on fish bones (what even?):

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This seems to be the boss:

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…okay then.

 And that’s all from this expansion. Next week, we’ll look at skeletons. Jup. Lotsa skeletons.

WoW Wednesday! Yes, This Is A Thing Now.

Because I had so much fun with my last World of Warcraft based entry I’m going to make this a semi-regular thing. At least until I get bored. Hope you’re ready to get down and nerdy! All you players, enjoy! All you not-players, prepare to be converted!

Today’s topic is…

Nine Things I Found While Flying Around Draenor

(May or may not contain spoilers for I don’t know, just play the damn game and stop bothering me.)

So I finally got off my ass and finished the damn achievement that allows me to use my flying mounts again. It was a long and gruelling task, but the pay-off was great. Free at last! And of course the first thing I did, because that’s what I always do, is hopping on my carpet and flying around Draenor. Literally around the entire continent. I love doing that! Do you even know the kind of things you discover that way?! It’s awesome!

The good thing since Cataclysm is that new continents are no longer closed off at the coastline as they still mostly are in old Azeroth, like Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor. If you fly or ride around those places you generally see a lot of disenchanting rock and some grass. But since we got our old world flying permits in Cata, landscapes on the outer rims of continents became a little more whimsical.

Now, I love flying around places. I love it so much, back in the old days I’d stock up on Elixirs of Water Walking, climbed on my mount and went around the world like that. Obviously, this is easier with a flying mount. Even more obviously, this tradition had to be upheld with Draenor. And I found some stuff.

1.These random chairs in Gorgrond

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 Who the hell puts chairs in the middle of fucking nowhere? Blizzard, that’s ‘oo. I had a good laugh.

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2. Murdered Draenei

And just like that, I stopped laughing, because less than a hundred feet away:

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3. This weird little cage with a skeleton in it

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How? Why? Who? No idea.

4. This weird orc drinking with a skeleton in a cave in Talador

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A cave full of booze. A lone orc. A skeleton. This is either the beginning of a love story or a really elaborate joke.

5. This pretty cave

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Btw, if you click on the glittery flower in the middle it will attack you. Draenor, ladies and gentlemen: Where the mountains are huge, the plains are endless, and the flora is hungry.

6. Chillin’ with my new best friend Barney Farley, ogre dancer extraordinaire

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You can find this guy in Nagrand near the Ring of Blood, putting on the ritz and a show.

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7. This random island north of Highmaul

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Okay, I don’t remember if this place is in any way relevant to the Highmaul raid (probably isn’t), but there’s an island. With skeletons on it. And a disappointingly empty cave.

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8. This sweet old hermit and his dog

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Just a sweet old man in the south of Talador, and while you’re here why don’t you help him with his little Iron Horde problem?

9. John and Yoko of Draenor

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I mean, a pair of lovey-dovey Draenei having a picnic while talking about giving peace a chance? See what you did there, Blizzard.

And that’s all for this week. I’m not really sure what I’ll do for next week’s instalment, soooo it’s a surprise! (I hate surprises. I’m sure you do, too, but I’m mean like that.)

Nine Reasons I Thought About Quitting WoW

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a person of the 21st century in possession of moderate fortune must be in want of a game that allows them to kill stuff. I, too, am fallen prey to the world of PC games, and there is one that always has me coming back for more: World of Warcraft.

But even though I’ve willingly been in thrall to this game for the better part of a decade now, it has me going round the bend at times. My relationship with WoW is a lot like those slightly dysfunctional on again, off again relationships of sitcoms: It’s the best expansion ever! It’s the worst expansion ever! There’s nothing to do! There’s so much to do! I love it! I hate it!I want to marry it! I want to hack my computer to pieces!

Ahem. Anyway, since I’m in a bit of a WoW rut again (and because I feel like this blog needs a new lil’ feature anyway) I thought I’d do a list of my personal, totally not biased reasons for coming thiiiiis close to quitting the thing entirely.

1. EES

What I like to call End of Expansion Syndrome. At the end of every expansion you usually hit a point where there’s just nothing to do for you. All the story lines have been completed, all raids have been raided, all the loot has been farmed, technically you could still run heroic but your guild somehow disappeared to this other server called Real Life and it’s just no fun without them, because raid browser? Nah. Sure, you can still grind rep, or farm ALL the gold, or become an achievement whore, or run through old content, or level alts, or… but somehow you’re just not feeling it. Maybe you’re just supersaturated. Maybe there is something to this Real Life thing. Whatever the case, you’re ready for something new. Only the next expansion will take For.E.Ver. to finally arrive. And who knows how good that will be. So you sigh, close the game, and try something else for a bit, all the while ranting all over the internet that WoW just lost its touch.

2. Sometimes WoW just raids your motivation to death

If there is one thing you can always do in WoW, it’s raiding. Now, I’m not a big raider anymore. My raid heyday was way back when in Lichking and Cataclysm. Because raiding isn’t fun without a guild, and my guild somehow acquired social lives (they still won’t tell me where that dropped). And the guilds you only join for the express purpose of raiding, they’re usually those super raiderinos who are really uptight about the whole thing. (Or maybe that’s just my rotten luck, but I’m never joining a raid guild again, ever, as long as I live and my server breathes… or something.)

Aaaanyway, coming back from that tangent… Yes, you can always raid, even during EES, but that’s precisely the problem, because suddenly there is nothing to do but raiding. At any other point during the expansion you can log on, check your mail, do a little quest, and log off after an hour so you can still get some sleep to go to your boring job that pays your monthly WoW fee. However, when there’s nothing to do but raid, which takes considerably longer than an hour, even if you’re running for the fiftieth time… okay, if I get home by this time I can log on, say, half an hour later, but the raid starts at X time, and actually I wanted something fancier for dinner than Red Bull and leftover chips, but it’s my turn to take out the trash, so that leaves me approximately 24 min. until starting time, and… But what if Legolaslol (name changed to protect the not-so-innocent) is late again, and we’ll have no way of knowing whether he comes five minutes later or an hour later, actually, maybe that leaves me enough time to order pizza, but what if we start before the delivery arrives, I can’t just answer the door in the middle of the boss fight, though I mean, maybe they could handle forty seconds without me, but wait, if we finish by 11 pm I can still order pizza then, but actually I should be in bed because I have to get up at 6 am…

And if you only raid on weekends, what do you do the rest of the week? Level alts? Get them gear? So they can raid? Eeeehhh…

3. Everything is too hard… or too easy

Over time it’s become abundantly clear that Blizzard doesn’t have a balance spec. Either you get epics, mounts, quests, and raids thrown at you until you cry for mercy, or you have to break your back, sell your soul, your grandmas soul, and toil away well into the small hours of the morning just to get a tiny little smidgen closer to… get gear so you can run heroic dungeons. Which then last four hours because suddenly you actually need a plan to defeat the first boss that’s a little more sophisticated than “hit the thing until it stops moving”. On one side you find yourself pampered and growing lazy, longing for a bit of challenge because damn, are you bored. On the other you feel an overwhelming urge to bite apart your keyboard. Whatever the case, however, history showed us that people bitched about it. Which brings us to our next point…

4. People

It is a widely known fact that people ruin everything. Be it the kind of crazy raid guild that expects you to be available every day 5 pm to midnight, or just the idiots swarming the Trade channel, sometimes you just have enough of the social aspect of the MMO and yearn for the loving embrace of something a little more quiet, a little more solitary, and a little more peaceful, like, dunno, Diablo. So you retire to a quiet life on your Halfhill farm or your WoD garrison, where you lock yourself in your mage tower and refuse to see anyone. You might even go so far as to exploit a software glitch to put a big sign on the outer wall saying, “Keep Out, Humans Orcs I Don’t Care What You Are, Stay OUT!”

Not that I ever toyed with the idea or anything…

5. Lore

Lore is nice, lore is great, lore brings the game to life. Lore is also the most confusing shit ever, and not even the people writing it always have their facts straight, as evidenced by a little dwarf in a red shirt in Ironforge.

WoW, of course, has a lot of lore. There’s so much history in this entire thing you can read all the books and still need the Wiki page to somewhat stay on top of things. And woe betide you if you don’t, because when that happens it’s gonna fuck you up. Sometimes lore happens and suddenly the game is different. Blink, and Garrosh is your boss. Blink, and all the orcs are like, “Trolls go home!” Blink, and the old Tauren is dead. Blink, and Magni Bronzebeard is now a fashionable statue. Blink, and Theramore’s gone. Blink, and Jaina’s finally snapped. Blink, and there’s intrigue and treachery and murder and natural catastrophe (though that’s really rare and usually in some way or another dragon-related) and you sorta just missed it and now you’re just standing there like “Whuh? When did that happen? Who and what now?” And with your half-knowledge you stumble through your quests at the verge of tears because you want to know what’s going on but you know you can never read all those books because some of them? Are not all that well-written. And if you’re a literature buff, that will drive you batty. Exhibit A keeps typing.

6. You took away my dailies?!, or The Boredom of the Leisure Class

One of my main irks with Warlords of Draenor is the pitiable lack of daily quests. Ah, those were the days when you had a dozen factions, each providing you with a set of five or six dailies to complete, and you’d grind so hard your rep and gold would shoot right through the screen! But alas, no more. Now quest NPCs be like, kill those mofos over there until I say stop. Yeah, okay, you can collect some items, too. No, those are enough. No really, I’d rather you off some more orcish twits. Oh, you want some variety? Okay, go kill some Arakkoa mofos. Yeah, kill the entire world, I don’t care. Here’s your 1500 rep and a tip. Don’t spend it all at once.

No, you know, actually I’d rather be back in Pandaria flying on a kite watering fields even though 1) throwing pitchers of water from high up seems a very ineffective method of watering anything, 2) it rained last week, yesterday, and it’s literally raining right now. But that’s still more fun than breaking out the calculator and computing how many of every type of mob I have to kill to get a 100% on the progress bar.

7. The hell did you do to my Azeroth?!, or The Emotional Turmoil Of Change

I’ll be the first person to admit that I don’t like change. Some update changed something in my e-mail inbox recently and I almost screamed. So I’ll just come right out and say that I was not thrilled when Cataclysm was announced. You’re just going to destroy my world?! Rip apart my beloved Ashenvale?! Change all the start zones?! Destroy the dam in Loch Modan?! Flood Menethil?! How could youuuuuu!

So after the initial shock I did the sensitive thing: I took my mount and did a great screenshot tour through old Azeroth before it was changed forever. And when Cataclysm rolled around, well, I wasn’t happy, but I acclimatised. Slowly. Over time. I mean, I still cried every time I entered Ashenvale. Or the Barrens. Or Stormwind where the park used to be. Or…. But by the time EES hit I had had a lot of sessions with a very capable bereavement specialist who now enjoys a nice and quiet life on the Maldives, and I had gotten used to everything.

I’ll never forgive Blizzard for putting me through all this, though. You’re toying with my emotions here, man!

8. My other fandom just released an MMO

Sometimes, you have a nice, stable long-term relationship with a nice, reliable person, bit rough around the edges but hey, who’s perfect? You have your routines, you know each others’ quirks, you’re comfortable with each other. But then, one warm summer evening you’re at a friend’s party and someone enters the room. Tall. Dark. Handsome. And he whispers… “I have a spaceship.”

And it’s a whirlwind romance of new and exciting things and you’re floating on a pink cloud thinking, this is the best ever, nothing else will ever compare, I’m never going back.

This is more or less what happened to me when SWTOR happened. Oh my stars and garters, it was like an exhilarating but forbidden affair. It lasted about as long as one, too. I mean, I love Star Wars. I love spaceships. I love bounty hunters. Now there’s someone offering me a galaxy far, far away that contains all my heart’s spacey desires. It just happened! It was just that one time (for a stretch of a few months)! But it meant nothing to me, I swear!

9. The Real Life server called

This is actually a legit reason to quit any game: Suddenly, there’s stuff to do, and it can’t be solved with pyroblasts. There are not many things that can’t be solved with a good pyroblast, so you know this is serious. Maybe you got a job. Maybe you got a family. Maybe you ran out of money. In my case, I was finishing a degree programme and decided, as much fun as it was to kill stuff, I really should do something with my life. Something more productive. Something that ensure I will be able to pay the monthly fees in the future. And thus, with tears in my eyes (not really) I hung my mage’s staff on a wall (figuratively speaking), hugged all my pets (okay, I actually did that), and rode forth into the sunset, through the portal and rejoined the magical kingdom of Real World. The quests really sucked. Graphics were okay. Bit grey, though.

And that’s why, at diverse dates, I almost quit my beloved game for good. And if you want to know why I still haven’t you need to stay tuned, this may become a regular blog thing. Cheers.

Risky Business, Also Known as Daily Life

As a slowly recovering sociophobe (ignore your spell check, it’s a word), I take chances every damn day.

I mean, I guess the biggest chance ever to take was to get actual psychological help, which did not work out at all. But that’s a sad story and I’m not feeling it today.

So instead let me regale you with the fact that sometimes I get up, get ready, get my stuff, open the door…

… go “Nope” and head back inside.

Some days leaving the house is just not happening. I mean… people. Construction workers. Children. Parents with children. Dogs. Birds. Social interaction with cashiers and ticket inspectors and random weirdos and those elusive beings called acquaintances. Hundreds of thousands of people being carried through the public transport system like so much cholesterol in an American’s bloodstream. The noise of a million grunting voices, crying, yapping, tapping on their phones, the irregular tick-tock of two million shoes going in every direction and at every pace, all while you are trapped in the enormous body heat of a stuffed subway car like you were travelling through the bowels of some huge alien creature. Smells like it, too. And you want me to partake in all this? Nah.

So some days, I step outside, decide that ‘literally, I can’t even’, and go hide in my bedroom.

I’m absolutely convinced this is where this dreaded phrase comes from. You’re so paralysed with fear you can’t even finish the sentence. Your brain just shuts down from sensory overload.

But sometimes, you do have to go out. Yes, even me with my thorough calculations of how long I can put off buying toilet paper. There’s university, and grocery shopping, and going to the drug store for tampons, and visiting relatives, and a billion other things you just can’t avoid. And then you just have to brace yourself, give yourself a good mirror pep talk about how you are a kind and loveable and entirely normal not-at-all-weird-or-awkward person, and go.

And then your brain puts on the next horror show. Did I lock the door? better go check again. Did I close the windows? There’s scaffolding all over the place, anyone could climb in, better go check again. Did I lock the door again after I checked on the windows? Better go check. Wait, did I check the kitchen window? Wait, did I turn off the stove? Should I really leave the dryer running, I heard that can cause a fire. What if someone starts a fire in the basement again? What if I lose my keys? What if I lose my phone? Wait, where’s my pepper spray even? Wait, where’s my list? What if it rains, should I take an umbrella? What if it gets cold, should I take a jacket? Wait, what if someone breaks the windows and steals all my stuff?! Maybe I should hide everything I own real quick…

And all this just to take a ten minute walk to the post office.

I took a huge chance today by going to a job interview. Do you want my inner monologue?

Oh my god, they answered so quickly! Wait, does that mean they’re desperate? Does that mean their last assistant quit suddenly? Did someone die? That’s why you can’t ask why the position’s free, no matter what they tell you in those get-ready-for-your-job-interview articles, because it’d be super awkward. Wait, how many other candidates are there? Oh my god, I really don’t have much experience, what if they hire me and then I can’t do it? Oh my god, what do I say when they ask why I want this job, I can’t say “Because I’d be getting paid”! But literally, that’s the reason. What if they ask me what my dream job is, I can’t say ‘billionaire heiress’! But literally, that’s the truth. Oh my god, what if they don’t like me? What if they’re mean? What if they make a joke they think is funny but is actually really hurtful and/or offensive? It’s going to be 90 degrees out, what am I going to wear? What if they don’t have AC? Ahhhh… blouse. Okay. Should I do pants? I can’t do my suit pants, too hot. Should I do a skirt? Great, now I look like I’m going to boarding school. What are they wearing on their website? Is this more business casual or business professional? What if that’s just for the photos and they’re really like super relaxed? What if I look odd? What if they don’t like my nose? Or my voice? Or my accent? Oh my god, I can’t do this. You need a job, though. I can’t do this! You need a job, though! I’m not half as good as I don’t even think I am! You need a job, though. Okay, so I’m here, and they are super relaxed about clothes. And it’s a group interview. Aww, all the other girls are so much prettier than I am! And they’re younger, too! Argh, Jesus, there’s no way they’re going to take me, not with that girl over there, she’s probably perfect. Argh, why can’t I pretend I’m a smiley, happy person, why is my strict organiser showing?! They want an organiser, though. Who cares, no one ever cares how efficient I am because I’m not a pretty smiling-at-all-hours sort of person! I’ve resting bitch face! It’s my natural condition! My masticatory muscle is cramping from all the smiling, this is the worst thing ever! Actually, this interview wasn’t so bad. Yes, it was. Wasn’t. Was. They seemed to like you. Didn’t! I said a stupid thing. I said a lot of stupid things, actually. Argh, why did I even go? Because you need a job. What I need is being a normal person!

So, yes, I’m definitely taking chances. Chances of going absolutely insane. Thank you and goodnight, I’ll see myself in.

Things to do When You’re Bored: Kitten Attack

So Boyfriend finally discovered, after over a week, the job of fabulousness I did on his mini Marvel figures, and their dresses were promptly removed (yes, even Black Panther’s fierce mini dress).

So naturally it was time to up the ante. I call it Project Pussy because I have the sense of humour of a twelve year old.

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And now we play the waiting game….