See you in 2013!
(Perhaps, maybe, I’ll find time to do a pet leveling post, but no promises!)
When my hands were at the pinnacle of having issues and very painful (mini update: seeing yet ANOTHER doctor at the end of January, and being started on Prednisone in the interim), Brade and I picked up a few board games so that we’d continue to have an interactive activity to do together. From there, we have spent many nights enjoying “game night” unplugged. And I love it!
We have spent many an evening playing games with just the two of us. We’ve also been working to set up a semi-regular game night with several different groups of friends, and have met some new and fun people in the process. I often fretted and worried about what I would do when I decided it was time to send Beru to Nagrand and log out of WoW permanently – would I have any social connections, would I be bored out of my skull, would I become a cranky old lady who reads books and watches my “shows”. However, I am happy to say that many of the experiences that I’ve had since re-introducing myself to the tabletop game genre have not only been overwhelmingly positive, but have also reminded me that a lot of people who don’t play wow continue to have a lot of fun and don’t all become cranky old ladies who whistle through their dentures while shaking their cane at those crazy kids these days (/gasp!).
We are also very fortunate in that we have an amazing game store locally where we can window shop, and even try out games before we buy them. While games tend to be slightly more expensive here, there is something to be said for the environment found in a game store. It’s hard to really describe, but there is just something…energetic and intriguing about it. One of the things that the shop closest to us does is have a “free play” night on Friday nights where the store is open until midnight and you can go in and just enjoy the games – and even ask one of the store personnel to teach you how to play (one of the other stores has a Munchkin Saturday Night – and has someone from the Munchkin team that comes and teaches people how to play). While we’ve not taken advantage of this as much as I’d like, it’s definitely on our list of “Friday Evening Activites”. Read the rest of this entry »
I had intended to work on the post giving a third look at the state of Druid healing, but when I opened my email this morning, there was a note from the photographer letting me know that our pictures were ready. So you are getting wedding pictures instead. Out of the massive file that was sent, I managed to find a few that I liked! I’m sure that we are all our own worst critic, and that Brade will like different ones than I do, but the ones below we’re amongst my favorites. It was a very lovely (albeit Seattle rainy) day – and in the end, I suppose that I am happy we ultimately decided to hire a photographer.
Our last raid of the expansion was last Wednesday. We came, we saw, and we kicked Deathwing’s ass…again. But then we told everyone to take two weeks off. Go recharge. Refresh your batteries, and your mind, so you are ready to go when MoP launches. Of course, having all this down time makes me wonder what to do with myself as we wait for Tuesday, September 25. Oddly, I’ve found myself playing more WoW than I was before! I have good reasons though, I swear!
So during this down time, I’ve decided to take advantage of the faster Cataclysm leveling and push both my inscriptionist (warlock) and my enchanter (priest) to 85 so that they are ready to handle their respective professions. It’s been relatively quick, and my priest only has a level to go – after about two days of playing her somewhat sporadically. One thing that has surprised me a little bit is how much I’ve been enjoying priest healing. I’m not really sure why I didn’t level her sooner, maybe burn out – as 5 of my other classes at 85 were healers, but I think she is becoming one of my favorite healers to play, usurping a spot left vacant by my paladin. It’s really a bit odd – I loved my paladin up until 4.3. And then the playstyle just felt a little flat to me and I stopped playing her. I don’t know if I can really explain it better than that – paladin healing just didn’t feel as involved for me as my druid or my shaman. Maybe it’s different now that 5.0.4 has hit – but I’m having such a blast PoMing my way around (seriously, does PoM not have just the best sound ever?) that I wonder if my poor paladin isn’t going to have the fate that my priest did this expansion. Max her trade skills, let her collect dust.
Anyhow, outside of the leveling bit, I’ve been doing quite a bit of reading (loving these Rizzoli and Isles novels that the show was based from!), some more cooking and trying out new recipes (some with more success than others), and debating if I should dig out some of the games collecting dust that I’ve never played, or started playing and never quite finished. Tate list is embarrassingly large. Lets see…what is on the list of shame:
I’m sure this is only a fraction of my list, and if I sat down at home and went through my piles I’d have more to add. And perhaps some day I will get to them – if only that pesky WoW wasn’t in the way. I guess my thought process is that these games will always be there, but WoW is more fluid and ever changing that I don’t want to miss anything. But I can’t help wonder what I have missed because of my time in WoW. Bah. Well, anyhow, I think I might try to make my way through a game or two on this list in the next two weeks. Besides, if I don’t shorten my list how on earth will I convince Brade that I need Luigi’s Mansion 2 when it finally decides to release?
Anyhow, down time. I’ve plednty to do, just never enough time to get to it all. Or I just don’t make enough time. Probably a little bit of both!
What are you doing in the down time before MoP?
So…this past weekend while I was super quiet here on the blog, on the cusp of MoP, while expansion news was flowing faster than the chocolate river at Wonka’s factory, and while I was completely oblivious to pretty much all things involving WoW, this happened:
WARNING! SAP INCOMING!
It was really sweet, and under each option was commentary that made me laugh and smile. Brade really knows me very well and knew that I’d start with “no” and work my way around to “yes”, observing each option, and so the answers played off of each other. I don’t usually do “scrap book” type things, but I’ve tucked this little square of paper away to put somewhere safe so I can look back on it an smile as I remember it.
For those of you who don’t know my history with Brade, I met him in WoW. We started talking about books one night while I was up late farming Night Dragon’s Breath back in Vanilla, and things sort of went from there, and before I knew it I was relocating to Seattle. We’ve been together somewhere around six years now. He continues to make me laugh almost daily, and helps to keep me balanced. He allows me to be who I am, with all my (many) flaws, and doesn’t judge me for them. He celebrates my joys and helps me through my struggles. And, without fail, he always finds a way to make me laugh – no matter how worked up I am or upset I am, he always manages to coax a smile from me. And I love him for that.
He once did a guild update that talked about defining moments in relationships. I can’t say if his theory on defining moments is entirely accurate – but I can say that I have certainly had those moments where I’ve said to him “if I can’t share this with you, who can I share it with?!”. I do know that I can share anything with Brade. He is the one person that I can completely let my hair down with and know that he won’t think less of me, no matter how shallow my complaints may be, or how silly the things I let frustrate me appear. Someone asked me how I thought married life would be, and I told them that Brade and I have been together so long that I anticipated it would pretty much be the same, only with better jewelry.
It’s truly amazing where and how you can find happiness, and I don’t think other people should define those parameters for you. When all is said and done, the truth of the matter is that I’ve found someone that I want to grow old with and I’m thankful every day that he entered my life. I know that I am looking forward to our future adventures, and anticipate much laughter and many more smiles along the way.
There have been a lot of things over the past week, both in and out of game, that have made me want to throw my hands up and walk away in frustration. I cannot tell you how much I would love September 25th to arrive already, and put idle hands and minds to work with activity. However, I’ve ranted up and down for the past week about those things, and honestly I want this week to start off on a more positive note. You see, I grow younger at heart this week and I intend to enjoy that despite everything else around me.
As such, I’m only going to talk about things that have pleased me or brought me joy over the past week and coming in the week ahead. Maybe this is some hippy mumbo-jumbo, but it seems to me if I want to have a happy, upbeat, pleasant week I need to take control of that from the start and build a good foundation for it to thrive. Or something.
The Outback Adventure
So in the biggest of news of the week, I think, we bought a car. Well, more specifically, Brade bought a new car. I haven’t even gotten to drive it yet! (Granted, that might be because Brade has driven with me before…). Anyhow, we started our Saturday morning at 8:30 in the morning with Breakfast out, and then drove and drove and drove. And oddly enough the first car we drove ended up being the one that was overwhelmingly the favorite.
And so when we got home around 7:00 Saturday night, it was in a new Subaru Outback!
For those of you in the Seattle Area, I will tell you that Sonny over at Chaplin’s Subaru in Bellevue was amazing and provided one of the best car purchasing experiences that I’ve ever had. When all was said and done, the actual purchasing part of the car was one of the most painless things we experienced throughout the day. In fact, I would buy another car from him in a heartbeat. If you are in the market for a new Subaru, I would absolutely recommend going to visit him!
Resto Round Table
What happens when you put 4 resto druids in a room and mix? You apparently get almost two and a half hours of druid talk! We recorded the Waffle Cast resto roundtable on Friday night, and it was a lot of fun. You can find the pod-cast here.
On Enjoying Lunch with a Friend
I have a semi-regular lunch outing with my good friend Tikari. This past week he was kind enough to listen to me ramble not once, but twice, as I had an emergency OMG THIS JUST HAPPENED AT WORK situation that I needed to vent about. It’s one of my favorite parts of the week, as we get together to ramble and rant about WoW, Work and how NBC broadcasts the Olympics (ok, maybe not really that last part!). But mostly it’s just nice to have someone to regularly bounce thoughts, ideas and frustrations off of, and receive an ear or advice in return.
No…not like those ears that you collect at the Darkmoon Faire! Exactly what do you think we do out here in Seattle! Seesh.
This past week we went to a newer place in the area, and stumbled on the most delicious thing ever. EVER. Grilled Cheese Fondue. It’s basically a pot full of tomato soup, and you are brought these amazing grilled cheese dippers for them. I am fairly confident that I could have sat there and eaten it all day. In fact, when they lady asked if we wanted more dippers I all but yelled “OMG THAT IS POSSIBLE?!?!”. So. Good. I think I might even go back today for lunch, since I’ve done nothing but think about how delicious it was since Friday!
On Growing Young
If I’m quiet this week, it’s because I have big plans! Tuesday night a friend is treating me to dinner at my favorite steak house, and I’ve been drooling for almost a week in anticipation. Then Thursday we are going to see King Tut. I’m quite excited, as I’ve never gotten the opportunity before and I’ve heard that the exhibit is quite amazing. After spending some time with the Tut, we are going to dinner at another one of my favorite places, and then going to see Weird Al in concert.
I have never seen Weird Al before, but I have high hopes that it will be an evening of frivolity and laughter.
Then on Friday we are going to head to the zoo, weather providing. Last year when we went to the zoo I fed a giraffe. I was completely chicken and pretty much threw my branch into its mouth the second that freakishly long tongue started to head my direction, but it was still a lot of fun. This year I think I’m going to feed the elephants instead. Although I suspect I will likely be equally as chicken when that trunk starts to move in my direction.
At some point, we will probably also go see a movie. As Brade listed them off, he conveniently left Sparkle for last – and then pointed out all of the other fantastic options that he had previously provided, including Paranorman and The Odd Life of Timothy Green. I guess he really doesn’t want to see Sparkle if he’s trying to sell me on the two above
In short, I’m very much looking forward to the week ahead!
How have you all been? Do you have anything excited planned this week? Are you looking forward to anything coming up? What are you using for your anti-irritant for the week?
I was going to write a post today about burning bridges because I received a particularly nasty note yesterday from someone that I genuinely enjoyed and it’s been eating at me since I read it. But when I sat down to write, I decided that I didn’t really want to think much about that vitriol filled note right now. I may still write the post, but the hurt is too fresh and my thoughts too muddled, so I’m going to think about it for awhile. Instead, I thought I’d share with you what I did today while I was in Aspen, because it was something really beautiful. And right now I need beautiful more than I need nasty.
(this was taken with my iPhone – I can’t wait to see what the ones taken with my camera turn out like!)
I’m traveling the next week and a half for work. It’s a trip that I take every year, and one that affords me two days in Aspen, Colorado. Usually I walk around and window shop during my stay here, but this year I decided to ride the gondola to the top of the mountain. It’s about a 20 minute ride to the top, and I learned very quickly that I don’t do particularly well in enclosed spaces hundreds of feet above the ground. I also decided it’s a good thing that I don’t ski, cause I’m not sure I could handle the open air lifts! Anyhow, a few deep breaths and an internal conversation convincing me that I wasn’t going to plummet to my death every time the wind blew, and before I knew it I was on top of the mountain. It was breathtaking. And it was completely worth it. I feel fresh and invigorated after my visit.
Warning: This post will have spoilers for all three of the Hunger Games books. If you haven’t read them yet, you may not want to continue reading this post. If you get to the end, and are pissed that I spoiled something, I will simply remind you that the very first thing I wrote in this post was a warning.
My hands have had a bit of a set back the past few weeks. While the original issue has somewhat plateaued in the improvement department, about three weeks ago I developed additional tendon damage/injury to my left thumb/wrist area. While this has been highly disappointing, and the new injury has affected more than just playing on the PC (trying working with fondant when your hands hurt trying to soften it up or color it, or try shuffling a deck of cards when the action causes pain in your thumb), I’m trying to roll with the punches and facilitate as quick a recovery as possible. Which means that I’m not spending a lot of time on the computer and I am again spending a good deal of time reading, watching TV and doing other things.
I bring this up, because over the weekend as I sat and enjoyed one of the ten days of sunshine we get here in Seattle, I finished up the Hunger Games trilogy. In fact, I was so involved in them that Saturday night found me up way past my bed time trying to finish the final book (I sadly had to give up with about 75 pages left when I just couldn’t keep my eyes open any more). Anyhow, as I read through the three books and observed the changes in Katniss and the other characters I had some thoughts on them that I wanted to flesh out, and figured this is about as good a place as any to do so. Before I move on, I want to again remind you that I am about to enter into spoiler territory, and if you haven’t read the books yet, you may well want to stop reading this post now.
Read the rest of this entry »
There isn’t a whole lot new on the WoW front. We finished getting everyone a firehawk last week, so I can finally say that I am (mostly) done with Firelands! We have an out of guild tank that has been helping us for the past month-ish and so we will probably do one more run to send a firehawk his way as a thank you. But other than that, I think we’ve likely put that fiery lord to rest once and for all.
We are still trucking along clearing out Dragon Soul every week. And, honestly, I think that is note worthy. I know that there are a lot of people who have stopped this effort, and each week that we get a full raid team together to continue pushing through I am grateful. Ends of expansions are hard. Motivation is lacking. This year it has the misfortune to compete with summer. And, honestly, after seven months of clearing the same content to be able to come together as a team and do it one more time each week shows dedication. And that, in my opinion, should be heralded.
I am a little more than disappointed with beta testing right now. I am not going to lie, I’m sitting somewhere at level 88 (or like a bubble from it, maybe), and lost some desire to continue my level push when Diablo came out. It had long been my intent to make a pre-made 90 to hit the raid content when it became available. Except that they have started some of the raid testing, and announced that they would not have pre-made 90′s available yet. I was disappointed, to say the least, but started looking at my schedule to find some time to push my character to level 90. And then they announced the raid test times…which so far are all when I’m still at work.
I understand that Blizzard is in the same time zone that I am, and that they want their folks to be able to go home at a reasonable time every evening. But man does it really suck to want to be a part of beta testing for raids and realize that it’s not going to be a possibility because you are on the west coast and have a commitment that keeps you from being at home during testing times. That has pretty much driven any desire to continue to level to 90 right out. The reason to get to 90 was to get a feel for how my class plays in a raid setting at max level, and realizing that it is unlikely for that to be an option for me pretty much bums me out completely. Read the rest of this entry »
Have you ever had one of those weeks where you wish you could just fast forward to the end of it and be done already? That was pretty much my week last week. The oddest part was that I was off of work last week. You would think that it would be relaxing, laid back, enjoyable! But you’d be wrong! You see, Brade had surgery on Tuesday – nothing overly major as far as surgeries go – just a day thing, but lord if that week didn’t take it out of me. By the end of the week, I was so exhausted that even if I didn’t want to sleep my body was telling me to get my ass into bed.
I sort of feel like I need a vacation from my vacation!
Anyhow, one of the upsides to having the week off (even if there were a lot of down sides as well) was that in between Brade care I had a lot of extra time to play Diablo. I’ve been enjoying it quite a bit, and have even surprised myself with how adept I’ve become at it. I played through the normal version alone, wanting to enjoy every nook, cranny, barrel, jar of ash, bookcase and loose stone in my own slow, tedious glory. I finished all the way through the story with a Witch Doctor, and then started up a Barbarian on the side.
However, once I finished, I surprised myself by wanted to try the harder modes. Which, really, isn’t something I expected. But about 3/4 of the way through normal, I asked Brade to hold off on Nightmare with his first character (a demon hunter) until I could catch up, so that we could co-op. And so we trucked through Nightmare together, adding a third in our co-op for the last two acts. I didn’t really feel that the difficulty had ramped up that much, and I really enjoyed the second play through. I even threw caution to the wind and started to venture my way into the Auction House a little bit. By the end of Nightmare, I found myself excited to venture into Hell. Again, something of a surprise to me.
On Saturday, we finished out Nightmare and started Hell. I’ve been running this build with my Witch Doctor, through all of Act 1 Hell, and it’s been working out for me fairly well. I’ve been debating giving up one of my passives for Pierce the Veil, but I’m undecided as yet. I may also eventually swap out Wall of Zombies of the confusion ability, but I’m liking wall of zombies so far. I will say that Hell is most definitely a step up in difficulty. In fact, I think I’d even say it forces you to re-evaluate the way that you play and requires you to think outside of the box, and I find that fun. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had our ass handed to us by an unexpected elite pack, or how much trouble we’ve gotten into with our (my) obsession for killing every treasure goblin we find.
We intend to start Act 2 Hell tonight, and I find myself excited to see what the difficulty offers as we progress. So far, I’ve enjoyed the curve, and the challenges presented, and I can’t wait to see how everything plays out as we get towards the end of the game. I’ve heard a lot of bad things about Inferno levels of play, but I’ve also heard some fun things about it as well. I never really pictured myself as the player that would venture into that level of play – I’ve never been one to put a game on it’s hardest setting “just because the challenge is there”. So I do wonder if I have the mettle for Inferno. I do think that I will at least try it and see if I can muster up the mettle it would take to finish.
In addition to the Witch Doctor (which I’m loving), I’ve gotten my barbarian about half way through the third act. I’ve really enjoyed plaything this character. There is something very primal and satisfying about smashing in faces with a giant weapon. I can’t explain it, it just feels good! I will probably venture into checking out the wizard next and seeing how it plays out for me. One thing that I think I can say has been great, has been the ability to swap between characters and do something different for awhile. I think that it is refreshing, and has added a good deal of enjoyment to my game. I also think it is a large part of the reason that I’ve decided to try some of the harder difficulties in the game.
Anyhow, I feel like this Diablo brain dump is starting to get a little rambly. It isn’t quite the post I had envisioned when I started writing, but sometimes that happens and you just have to go where the post is taking you. In this case, into the very jumbled, sleep deprived parts of my mind that have been pre-occupied with Diablo!
I know I have been enjoying the game, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on it if you are also playing! Do you like the story? Do you like the game play? How do you feel about the different levels of difficulty?