Changing Focus

First, a quick note about yesterday’s book list:  this doesn’t seem to be a real NEA list.  I found a National Education Association list of kids books, but didn’t see one for adults. It also seems that “The Big Read” program actually belongs to the other NEA, the National Endowment for the Arts.  Again, different list, and not quite 100 there.  🙂  The Game Dame and I thought this list was suspicious, anyhow, given the duplicates on there (is “Hamlet” not part of the Complete Works of Shakespeare, for example?), and the lack of links to an official list.  The only place I’ve been able to find this list is in folks’ blogs, so my guess is that somebody made it up.  Still fun, of course.  I did find some other published top 100’s though, if anyone wants more lists to play with.  Check out the Modern Library’s top 100 list and Time’s top 100, for example.  We also pondered coming up with our own top 100, since we seem to have such similar tastes and felt that there was some glaring omissions from the current list going around. 😉  [/mythbusting]  Now I return to WoW…

My plans in game are a-changin’.  Previously, my plan was to raid with my hunter until my mage was geared, and then focus on gearing her as Wrath hit, and essentially make her my new main focus.  In looking at gear to get my mage ready for Kara, I realized I made an error — she is not a tailor.  If I’d make her a tailor instead of a jewelcrafter, I’d be in much better shape right now.  Maybe I’m being overly dramatic, but gearing her looks like an uphill battle that I’d rather not put energy into.  I’ve put enough work into leveling up my mage’s jewelcrafting that I’m unwilling to drop it, and it seems silly to drop mining since I bought her the epic flying mount.  So, I think she is going to be my farmer and money-maker, cut my gems, and stay on the back burner.  My hunter will be focus for raiding and gear improvement for now.

I’ve also started leveling my priest again.  She completed the Un’goro Crater stuff over the weekend, and is now killing creepy crawlies in Silithus.  She’s level 56, and once she gets to Outland, I’ll probably pick up the leveling pace a bit more by running her through instances.  Finding groups will be much easier as a holy priest than a hunter, no doubt!  As with every guild, too, we could use more healers.  My priest is a tailor, too, so she’ll be able to deck herself from head to toe in the Primal Mooncloth set as soon as she hits 70.  Hurrah!  If I still like healing when we arrive at Wrath, again, she could very well be my focus.

It’s not that I don’t like my hunter — I really do love playing her.  I just think that my opportunities for grouping will be greater as a healer.  It’s nice to have a backup that’s not just another DPS, too.  When we’re setting up groups now, I’m like, “ok, I can bring some DPS, or … some bigger DPS.”  Heh.  I suppose it could turn out that I hate raid healing, but I like it so far in the 5-mans.

Anyway, we’re looking forward to the holiday weekend here!  Yay!

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Book Meme

From Dammerung’s recent post:

These are the National Education Association’s Top 100 books, part of NEA’s “The Big Read” program. To play along:

Look at the list and bold those we have read.
Italicize those we intend to read.
Underline the books we LOVE.

I’ve also put a footnote anchor by incomplete reads, with notes at the bottom.

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare [1]
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky [2]
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34 Emma – Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez [3]
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving
[4]
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert [5] (Currently reading this.)
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov

63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac

67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce (No, but I read Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and that was enough for me!! 😛 )
76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt [6]
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle [7]
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl

100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

[1] I certainly haven’t read all the plays, though we read a bunch in my Lit classes in school, of course.

[2] This was the last book for AP English my senior year of high school, and we’d spent so much time on the other stuff before it, we only had about a week to cover it.  I don’t think anyone finished it!

[3] I’ve read 3/4 of this, and I honestly have no idea why I ever put it down, as it is some of the most gorgeous writing I’ve ever read.  I am in love with Gabriel Garcia-Marquez!

[4] Same thing — I loved the first 2/3 (read it on a train to Chicago), but lost track of the book at one point, and have always meant to pick it up again.

[5] Like I said, I’m currently reading this.  As things stand now, it will not be underlined when I’m done.

[6] I tried.  I really tried.  I could not get through it though.

[7] I have read some of these stories, but have never sat down with the complete works.

Other notes —

Dammy also mentions which ones he wished he hadn’t bothered with.  For me, the standout is The Da Vinci Code, which was a steaming pile of crap, in my opinion.  I also disliked Germinal, but read it for a Lit class in college, so really had no choice.  I didn’t enjoy either Great Expectations or Heart of Darkness while actually reading them, but after I’d finished reading them, I somehow liked them more.  I’ve always meant to go  back and read them again to see if they were cases where because I was reading them for a class, I wasn’t enjoying myself.

As for books I have no desire to read and likely never will read… hmm.  Never say never?  I’ll read almost anything, really.  But, I think the ones I’d probably put to the back of the list are Ulysses, The Five People You Meet In Heaven, and most of the Dickens stuff.  I think if I reread Great Expectations and enjoyed it, I might give other Dickens another go, but I remember his stuff boring the pants off me in school.  I read Hard Times in college, and … yeah.  No thanks.  Mr. Ess tells me I should give Tale of Two Cities a try, and it is currently on my nightstand. We’ll see.

To my great surprise, my favorite book of all time is not on the list!  If you haven’t already, go read Steinbeck’s East of Eden.  I heart Steinbeck and will one day make a pilgrimage to Monterey.  Mah Favorite!! ❤ !!!

If I had to choose an all-time favorite from this list, I would have to choose To Kill a Mockingbird.  An English teacher in high school told us that this is one of those books that you can essentially read every ten years and pull something new out of it, given how different your perspective on life is.  The way that the plots and subplots are woven, there are different things (and even different themes) you’ll identify with.  It is amazing.

[Ok, back to WoW stuff soon!]

Bloggish Things

I’ve noticed several folks attempting to make their blogs “spoiler free” zones for Wrath.  I don’t particularly care about spoilers, but a lot of the efforts to hide the spoilery info are effectively filtered out in my feed reader.  The top of the post will read “only click here if you don’t care about spoilers!” or something like that, and then there’s no link.  Instead, right underneath that statement is whatever was hidden behind the link in the actual post.  Heh.  I don’t know, maybe it’s my just my feed settings, but I think it’s sort of amusing.  I know folks are meaning well, so I thought I’d mention that it may not be totally working as intended.

The non-Wow MMO blogs have really lit up now that the Warhammer NDA has been lifted.  Some aspects of Warhammer do sound intriguing (public quests, particularly), but 1) if these are successful, I’m pretty sure we’ll see them in WoW in some form or another eventually and 2) I really don’t have time for a second game right now.  I’m so overwhelmed by things I want to accomplish before Wrath that I just don’t see myself investing any time in another MMO anytime soon.  This is mainly because I’ve started raiding a bit more, I think, and it truly does take a lot of my game time.  It’s forced me to focus on my main Horde toons, as well.  For a while there, I actually had my finger in several different pots, running toons with four (!) different guilds.  I haven’t been Alliance side in ages now (sorry Sidhe Devils!), haven’t logged into my warlock in many months (and don’t plan to anytime soon), and as I mentioned a while back, our Pox Arcanum team disbanded.  My playtime has collapsed back to one guild, and two (maybe three) toons at the moment.  Talk about focus.  So this is how people get things done!

And speaking of getting things done, posting here has slowed recently for various reasons, and it may slow even more in the coming weeks.  I’m still playing WoW quite a bit, obviously, but I’m going to be a bit busier at work during the day, which has been my prime blogging time.  I’m hopefully transitioning to a new job in the near future, meaning that my daytime blogging time could be reduced to nothing when that happens, but we shall see…

The ‘New Gear’ Shuffle

I put a lot of time into getting my hunter’s gear ready before ZA last week, making sure every item was gemmed and enchanted to cap my hit rating and maximize my agility.  I felt like I was pretty much set until the next upgrade, so the week before the next ZA run was spent putzing around, farming, and doing dailies. The weekend’s raiding plans included ZA again on Friday night and a speedy badge run through Karazhan on Sunday evening.  I made sure my quiver was full of arrows and that I was fully repaired and ready to go, and then spent most of the week playing my mage.

On Friday night before the ZA run, one of our tank/healer couples was having internet connectivity problems at their house.  We really wanted to raid, but until the thunderstorm at their place passed, they weren’t going to be able to stay connected for more than a few minutes at a time.  We waited a while, and they finally decided to just drop out and have us to replace them.  We didn’t have quite a strong enough crew for ZA, so it was decided that we’d switch things up and go ahead and do the Kara speed run, and then go to ZA Sunday instead.  There was a lot of toon swapping as folks filled in with their other tanks/healers or switched out to DPSers that they needed badges for.  The goal was a speedthrough for badges, clearing as much as we could before everyone had to poop out.

In short, the Kara run was a lot of fun.  We one-shotted everything and came away with a total of 18 badges.  (We skipped the dragons, because it was getting late.)  We got the Big Bad Wolf for the Opera event, and he dropped the Wolfslayer Sniper Rifle!  It was a nice upgrade from the Steelhawk Crossbow I’d been using, and it went to me!  Woo!  I’m not a huge fan of guns in the game, but, what the heck.  DPS, right?  The other hunter on the run encouraged me to go ahead and use it, but I didn’t have any bullets on me.  (The next day, when I finally decided to equip the gun, it turned out I’d never trained to use guns anyway.  Ha!)

On Saturday morning, I did some reading about my new gun.  There are a lot of discussions and calculations out there about whether it is better than the bow from Prince, but I think most folks would agree it was an upgrade from the crossbow that I was using.  Swapping it out made me lose 16 hit, however, putting me 13 hit below the cap.  That would not do.  I studied the rest of my gear, and determined that even with the most creative gemming, I could not make up 13 hit without sacrificing a fair amount of agility.  Living rubies have been difficult to come by lately, so I wasn’t anxious to replace the ones I had socketed with hit gems, either.  I began looking at other alternatives.

I noticed that one of the cheaper badge upgrades available to me would do the trick.  I could replace my Saberclaw Talisman with a Choker of Vile intent, which would not only cap my hit but boost my DPS a bit.  The Choker was only 25 badges, too!  I checked my bank… 24 badges.  I popped myself in the LFG for some heroics, mentioned in my guild chat that I was looking for heroics, and started doing the dailies that offered the Shattered Sun Supplies as rewards while I waited for a group to form.  I have not gotten a single badge out of one of these in all the time I’ve been doing these dailies, but I crossed my fingers.

The first one I did was the “Maintaining the Sunwell Portal” daily, collecting smuggled mana cells.  I flew to Blade’s Edge, got the phase shifter thing, collected the mana cells, and hearthed back to Shattrath to turn in the quest.  Inside the supply pack:  A badge!!  WoooooO!!  Unbelievable!!  But, faced with the real option of buying the Choker, I wasn’t totally sure I wanted to do it.  Before that gun dropped, I had pretty much decided that my next badge upgrade would be replacing my Rip-Flayer Leggings with the Leggings of the Pursuit (which have +15 hit on them).  I decided to wait a day and think about it.

On Sunday morning, I was looking at the gun a bit more.  Whenever I finally equipped it, I’d certainly need a scope for it.  BRK suggested a stabilized eternium scope for it in one of his posts, so I decided to delay my decision about the neckpiece by doing some ore farming. To farm more quickly, I finally shelled out the cash for my epic flying mount for my mage.  So awesome!  I can’t believe how speedy I am now.  I know some folks immediately feel some buyer’s remorse after their epic flying mount purchase, but I felt immediately that It was totally worth every copper.

I did manage to get some farming done, but kept getting distracted by people asking for DPS for instances.  I ended up bringing my mage to three instance runs with the guild.  Three! In one day! It was so much fun.  It did mean that I only collected about half the ore I needed, however.  I decided I’d go ahead and use the gun without a scope for the evening’s ZA run, so I stopped farming and popped over to my hunter for a few final preparations.  I picked up the gun skill (heh), made her an ammo bag, put her quiver in the bank, and then went to the vendor by Karazhan to buy the fancy epic bullets.  I then took her out to Nagrand to shoot stuff for a while (with cheapie bullets, of course), and level my gun skill.  We had a guild meeting about an hour before the ZA run, so this cut my time a bit short, but I still managed to get her gun skill up to about 325.  The rest would happen in ZA.

We had our guild meeting (always fun), and ZA invites began immediately after.  As always, I headed right to the stone to help with summoning.  We got everyone together and a few folks also summoned and parked alts right by the instance, just in case we needed to swap people out.  It took 20 extra minutes or so to get all of this coordinated and get everybody settled.  (We were held up by things like, “Oh hey, while the mage is here, let’s go ahead and have her buff everyone and make a table,” and people having last minute thoughts about who would be best for the line-up.)  I waited patiently, helping with the resummoning and so forth.  We finally got inside the instance and I did my usual checks: pet on passive, growl is off, riding crop is replaced with the appropriate trinket, correct bullets are equipped.  And that’s when I notice… Dammit.  I forgot to buy the Choker!

Arrrrgh!!

So, there I was, walking into ZA, ready to try out my new gun and enjoy the beefy DPS it has to offer and my hit rating wasn’t even capped.  My DPS was going to suck rocks.  At this point, I was so embarrassed about my oversight, I didn’t want to ask if I could port out and buy it.  I had all that time by the summoning stone while people were swapping toons in and out to notice this, and somehow, I did not.  I searched for a magical solution in my inventory, and found that amongst the food I’d brought to feed my pet, I had 7 Spicy Hot Talbuk.  This was not nearly enough to get me through the boss fights planned, plus the gauntlet, plus any wiping we might do, but it would cap my hit.  Oh well.  I was not as prepared as I’d hoped, but I’d do my best.

As it turned out, I did pretty well.  My DPS was in the top three, and I was second for damage done in the Nalorakk fight.  We cleared Nalorakk under the timer, ran the Akil’zon gauntlet (it was not as smooth as last time, but we did it in one attempt), and then headed to Akil’zon.  We had a bit of a snafu on Akil’zon — the tank ran in before everyone was at the top of the stairs, so some folks (including myself) were blocked from entering the fight.  They decided to force a wipe and just let him kill everyone.  We got him the next time with no troubles.

We didn’t have much crowd control, but somehow, it took us less time to get to Jan’alai than on our last run.  We did lose a couple people along the way (who then had to run back in), but I managed to stay alive and keep my precious food buff.  I only had a couple left in my stack, however, and I was getting nervous.  While folks were running back to us at one point, one of them used a hex stick on a frog and out popped a food vendor.  “Anyone need anything?” they asked.  And then someone else said, “No, I’ve got plenty.  In fact, I have some extra Spicy Hot Talbuk here if anyone would like some.”  Oh yeah!!  I asked for some, and she gave me 10.  Awesome.  Finally, I relaxed a bit.

I was excited to see Jan’alai again.  We didn’t manage to down him, but we definitely understand the fight now.  It’s those damn firebombs that keep taking people out (different people each attempt), and despite the battle rezzes, we were unable to recover each time.  I managed to stay alive through all of our attempts on him, which made me very proud.  I know, hunters can feign death to improve their chances of this, etc, but it wasn’t that.  I was able to stand in the right place!  Sounds silly, but this is a new thing for me.  In my first several attempts at Maiden or Shade, I was always getting blown up in the first couple minutes of the fight because I was simply standing in the wrong place.  (Note, I’ve never moved during Shade’s flame wreath — it just took me a while to figure out the sweet spots where I could easily avoid the blizzard.)  So, I was very proud of myself for already understanding this fight well enough to successfully do the dance part of it.  I think we’ll get him next time.

I’m picking up some new habits preparing for each of these long raid fights, too.  I always feed my pet right before the fight, even if she’s perfectly happy going into it.  It sucks to see that green smiley turn to a yellow when the boss is at 50%.  I’ve also been bringing plenty of Kibler’s Bits to boost her damage.  I’m remembering to pop my trinkets regularly, and timing my use of mana potions a bit more wisely, taking into consideration the potion cooldowns so that I never run out.  (I shoot so speedily, that steady shot really burns up my mana in the long fights!)  It’s like pacing yourself for a marathon, and takes some practice.

So, I had a few small triumphs and a few moments of idiocy.  A balanced weekend, I suppose.  Also, I think I’m addicted to raiding now…

Zul’Aman!

As I mentioned before, our guild has decided to start taking a team to Zul’Aman each week.  Last night was the first run, and my hunter was fortunate enough to be selected for the team!  Woo!  The guild has hit the first boss several times before, but this was the first time we’ve ventured further inside.  It was incredibly exciting to be part of this.  🙂

The gear requirements for the run were posted quite some time ago, and I’ve been steadily improving my gear to reach those numbers since then. I filled in an empty spot at the last minute on Friday’s Kara run, and although the missed the roll on the tier 4 gloves, I picked up Legacy from the Opera event, which was a huge upgrade from Terokk’s Quill, which I’d been toting around for ages.  We ran the heroic daily afterward, plutting me at a grand total of 102 badges.  I bounced right over the badge vendor and spent 100 of them on a shiny new chest piece. I also replaced my Pauldrons of Desolation with the Merciless Gladiator’s Chain Spaulders.  Turns out they gave me a boost in DPS (plus I already had all the honor and AB marks I needed to buy them), though I lost hit to put me below the cap.  I had to make this up with some creative re-gemming, sacrificing some agility and stamina.  I think I could better optimize my gems, but given my limited time before the run, I did the best I could, and still came away with capped hit and pretty darn good crit.  I may need to do some gem shuffling this week, however.  It would also help if I could get my hands on a few more living rubies.  Need to get my jewelcrafter out there to do some farming for these, because they’ve been scarce in the AH.

At any rate, I joined the ZA run fully gemmed and enchanted, with bags filled with extra food, water, and agility elixirs.  With growl turned off, cower turned on, and my riding crop stowed, I entered the raid instance with my guild.  Hee hee hee!  So exciting.

We speedily made our way through the first trash mobs, and then one-shotted Nalorakk under the timer. To my great surprise, I came in second for Damage Done during that fight, although I think I was third for average DPS and pretty well below the number two DPSer.  The number one and two DPSers are good buddies and have a friendly rivalry, so when I came in second, there was a lot of teasing in vent.  Hehe… I was proud of myself because normally I’m high on the DPS list, but a little lower on total damage done because I wait too long to start fighting.  Maybe it’s from all the crappy pugs.  I always want to give the tank a good lead, but I’m slowly learning to get that DPS going sooner.  So, this showing on the meters was a small triumph for me personally.

After this, we ran the Akil’zon gauntlet, and after much chatting about strategy and so forth, we just decided to go for it.  We ran with one tank in the front of the group, one in the back, and the DPS stayed in between, burning down the targets as they were marked.  We were resigned to a wipe on the first try, but amazingly, we got through it in one shot!

Akil’zon took us two tries.  I think we needed the first just to experience the fight and see what he did.  We’d all read about it, but actually being there and doing what you’re supposed to do is a different thing.  This guy is a one-shotter from here on out, I’d guess, just as long as everyone is paying attention and running to the center when they’re supposed to.

And then, there was the path to Jan’alai.  There are scouts patrolling (or with the groups you’re pulling) that call in reinforcements, and although they’re very easy to kill, if you don’t kill the fast enough you can be overrun quickly with adds.  It took a wipe to get our strategy down on this one, part of the problem being keeping in range of the scouts as they ran to bang the drum for reinforcements.  Some of the group pulls were pretty big at this point, too, and some of them felt a bit chaotic.  We did finally make it to Jan’alai, however…

Our first attempt at Jan’alai was over pretty quickly.  Dragonhawks were swooping around and the bird thing was breathing fire in my face.  Although I tried to avoid the fire bombs, I ended up eating gravel and missing most of the fight.  They got him down to 50% or so before we wiped.  The second attempt seemed to go better, overall, though we still didn’t down him, and by the third wipe, I think it was clear we just needed to study this fight a bit more.  None of us really thought we’d make it this far in, and so I’m not sure we were all ready for it (myself included).  We noted we were taking longer breaks between wipes to read about strategy, and finally just decided to call it a night.  Some of the old guard likened it to the guild’s first attempts at Shade in Karazhan.  He’s a bit of a bastard, though we’re usually able to get him within a couple attempts now, depending on what DPS we have with us.  Once we learn this fight, I imagine it will be similar.  We just need to learn the dance.

All in all, amazingly good fun.  I loved the composition of the raid team and look forward to heading back into ZA or Kara with them soon.  I may not get chosen for the next ZA run, since we do have more DPS available than spots for DPSers, but it looks like they’re going to get a consistent rotation established as more people get geared, so I know I’ll get in there again.  In the meantime, I shall start collecting badges for my next badge item upgrades.

Instant Dancing

Last week I asked for Instant Happy, this week, let’s talk about Instant Dancing.  This is brought on by songs that no matter what you do, you just can’t help yourself.  You must dance! (You have this problem, too, right?  Er… right?)  Unless I want to pop out of my chair and and dance in front of my coworkers, I need to skip past these on the iPod.  If I’m listening to this music in my apartment, all bets are off…

Instant Dancing

Instant Dancing

Instant Dancing

Instant Dancing

Instant Dancing

Instant Dancing


/glowsticks

DJ Ess out!

State of Flux

Last week was a bit of a roller coaster…

I had some great moments with my Horde guild, running a bunch of instances, including trading some dungeon run-throughs of low level alts with a few of the new folks in the guild.  I also saw the inside of Zul’Aman for the first time, as the team going after Nalorakk was short a few DPS.  I’m still not quite ready for prime time ZA runs (still need about ten more badges for the chest upgrade to get my stats a little closer to the desired minimums), but I’m getting there.

On the downside, the Purple Poxers are no more.  It’s a bummer.  I knew that it would end someday, I just never guessed it would end so soon.  We were just getting ready to do ZF and begin moving on to some content that some of us hadn’t seen often (or at all — ST, Strat, Scholo, and the often-skipped stuff). Oh well.  We had a lot of great times, and I’ve got a backlog of screenshots I’ll be going through soon to put together a final wrap-up post on the Purples in the next week or so.  I suppose that’s that.

Things are already looking up again this week, however.  We have family staying with us, so I’d assumed we weren’t going to be playing WoW at all, but my “joke” about putting WoW on extra computers so we could all play together (and get them addicted) was actually taken as a good idea!  (Bwahahah!) So, Monday night, that is exactly what we did.  We installed the game on the laptop they brought, set up one of our old computers, and then both of them set up trial accounts and made characters.  Hee!  The four of us ran around the Orc/Troll starting area for a few hours before bedtime, and it was a great time.  My sister made a hunter, her husband created a priest, and Mr. Ess and I rolled a mage and a rogue to run around with them.  We’re trying to do more following than leading, since it really is fun to just run around and explore when you first get in the game.  No rush.  We certainly don’t want them to miss anything.  It’s been great fun so far.

Last night, we left the starting area and ventured out into Durotar.  It’s been so fun hearing them say “Whoa!” as we arrive at a new place or giggle as I show them a new emote.  We picked up the quests around Razor Hill and Sen’jin, and at the end of the night, we made the jaunt up to Orgrimmar so they could see the big city.  Each time we arrived at a new place, I stood on the edge and watched them run in, sort of like little kids released at a park… they’d circle around, explore everything, click on everything, talk to the NPC’s, find the trainers, look through what the vendors are selling, and read through the quests as they pick them up.  It’s so fun!  It’s reminding me of the “wow” I felt when I first started playing.  There’s no hurry to level, we’re just enjoying the place.  I’m not sure if they’ll play past their trial accounts this week, but I’m hopeful.

So, that’s the news from Lake Wobegon.  Work stuff is also in a bit of a state of flux, but you don’t really read this blog to hear about RL, do you?  😉

Instant Happy

It’s been an odd week in WoW, but I think I’ll get back to writing about that next week. I have something different in mind for today.

A couple days ago in the car, Fleetwood Mac’s “Second Hand News” came on the radio. I love this song, and I can’t help but grin like a crazy person while I sing along. Instant happy.  I have some songs in this category ready to go on my iPod, but there’s something special about being surprised by a song like this on the radio, particularly if you haven’t heard it in a long while.  These are usually songs from my childhood, things my Mom really loved, or tunes that evoke a strong memory of a particularly happy time. I love it when that happens!

So here ya go… I’ll just post links here of some of my favorite “instant happies,” and they’ll be unnamed links so you can be surprised, too.   If you’ve got some happies share, too, please reply!  And to all:  No Rick Astley!  If you try it, I’ll sic the cat on you. 😉

Instant Happy

Instant Happy

Instant Happy

Instant Happy

Instant Happy (Ok, not often heard on the radio, especially by this artist, but don’t you love it?  I had this record when I was a little kid.  The original is here.)

And more, but I’ll stop at five (six if you count the Fleetwood Mac) and get this posted.

I could easily come up with a list of songs that bring me to tears (sometimes even with no beer involved), ones that make me ache with nostalgia, ones that make me laugh, and others that I absolutely cannot listen to on my iPod lest I burst into dance.  Maybe I’ll post these in the next couple Fridays.

Have a great weekend, folks!