I’m going to blame my recent post delinquency on Wildstar. That seems fair.

There’s a lot of talk recently that Wildstar isn’t doing so well – that they’re not having the success they’d hoped and that things look a little grim. Mostly I’m sticking my fingers in my ears and going LA LA LA LA LA whenever I hear anything along those lines, since I’ve gotten so very, very fond of running around in Nexus. And of Lugh, my ridiculously adorable Aurin Esper Explorer and her hippie outdoorsy party house that I’ve spent far too much time working on.

Wildstar isn’t flawless. No MMO is. But it’s the best MMO for me thus far. Before Wildstar, I’d never had as much fun with an MMO as I did with WoW – and I’m sure I’ll go back to WoW at some point, I always do, but it might be a while, because in Azeroth I can’t dye my hoodie the perfect color to match my cargo pants or spend an afternoon building a patio and shopping for the perfect knick knacks to put on my shelves in the attic room I finished or play a path specifically geared towards the kind of thorough map exploration that I’ve always done in MMOs anyway.

I know Wildstar isn’t ever going to be the behemoth that WoW is, and that’s okay. And it’s likely that WoW will take some cues from the popular elements of Wildstar, and maybe next time I revisit Azeroth I will be able to do some of the things I mentioned. But for now I just hope Nexus stays around for a while, even if it’s a more nichey game. I’ve put a lot of love into my house, I’d hate to have to move out.

I’ve got about a million things to squee about when I manage to make myself sit down and write (The Winter Soldier!) but for now, here’s a new piece of frostiron fanart that I commissioned from the incredibly talented Voodooling. As always, she nailed my request to the letter. I adore the feeling of tenderness she captures with these two, I adore everything about the stylized way she draws them, and she does absolutely fantastic things with color and light. The morning light coming in the window makes me happy.

Spoilers: Click 'Show' to see the full sized version! Show

I seem to have come full circle with this blog. When I first started posting here I was in the middle of a World of Warcraft obsession. It wasn’t long after that I deactivated my account. This is a pattern with me. This has been a pattern with me for … quite some time.

I started playing WoW in beta. When the game was released I played obsessively for a long time. I went through a period of running with a big guild, raiding regularly, earning DKP … I enjoyed that for a while, mostly because I was in a guild that included some real-life friends, and made up of people who were a good balance of being obsessed with the game but not being out of control about it. It was as casual as a raiding guild could be.

That was years ago, though, and since then I haven’t gotten back into the raiding thing. What I love about WoW, though – and what continues to get even better about it – is that you don’t have to be in order to enjoy endgame. They’ve added in so many fun minigames and professions that it’s perfectly enjoyable for me to play a character who specializes mostly in archaeology and collecting pets. She’s thinking about taking up farming. When the new expansion comes out she’ll go quest crazy until she hits top level again, then she’ll probably focus back on her more exploratory pursuits.

If I feel like fighting there’s plenty of fighting to be done, but I can spend as much time as I want just poking around, exploring the world and the scenery, and never run out of things to do. My favorite thing about MMOs has always been having a large, interestingly designed world to explore, and WoW makes poking around into a game of its own.

I’ve come and gone from WoW enough times that I’d have to look at my account history to remember how many. My typical pattern is to come back in anticipation of a new expansion, play the crap out of the new expansion, and then deactivate my account again whenever I start to get tired of it. I find that as long as I quit as soon as it starts to feel like a grind that, after some time away, starting back up again starts to sound like fun, and when I do return to Azeroth it always is fun again.

Fun and oddly comforting. Though not so odd, really – when you consider that I’ve been hanging out in Azeroth off and on for close to ten years now it makes sense that the place would seem familiar and homey.

Close to ten years. Geez. And I’ve got the panda to prove it. I bought the Collector’s Edition of the original game, which gave you several exclusive mini pets, my favorite of which is the panda, which hasn’t been made available by any other means. The panda means I’m a veteran, yo. I may not be a hardcore raider but I have got some serious WoW longevity.

And I’m excited about the expansion. There will likely be squee about it as we get closer to release. And possibly more rambles about my ongoing quest for the Zookeeper title …

Last weekend my husband and I saw a Welcome to Night Vale live performance in Birmingham, and saying that it exceeded my expectations is no small statement, because my expectations were pretty frakkin’ high.

Of course I knew I’d enjoy seeing Cecil live, and I suspected he’d do well in front of an audience, but having only ever heard the podcast before I really didn’t realize how excellent of a performer he was. He makes excellent use of expressions, gestures and audience interaction (I am proud to say I earned a judging look when I didn’t follow one of his audience participation instructions well enough) to make certain that seeing the show live is a whole different experience from listening to the broadcast.

Cecil was hilarious and delightful, and delivered a bit of genuine creepiness as well, in true Cecil fashion.

They’ve still got tour dates left for the show we saw, and I imagine after that they’ll be releasing a version of it to the public like they did with Condos, so in case anyone wants to avoid knowing anything at all about it I’m going to spoiler-hide a bit here.

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Everyone who participated was excellent – it was great to see Meg, who played a part in the show as well as doing her usual announcements. The Weather was Danny Schmidt and Carrie Elkin, and we really enjoyed them. They were also the opening act – they performed three songs, which was just enough for the audience to enjoy them without getting too squirmy with anticipation for the show. Carrie also played a part in the show, and was absolutely adorable. Their hopeful Americana folksy vibe somehow perfectly complemented the usual dark humor of Night Vale.

I’m not sure if all the venues they’re performing in are on the small side, but it would make sense, given that it’s the kind of show that works best in an intimate setting. The theatre probably sat less than 200 people, and we got there early enough to get front row seats (the tickets were general admission). Being so close was excellent, but there wasn’t a bad seat in the house.

If you’re a fan of Night Vale and you have an opportunity to see them live, I seriously recommend that you do. You won’t be disappointed.

Two interesting bits of geeky news this week – one that makes me snort and one that makes me flail (in an excited, worried, fangirl-feels sort of way).

First off, the news that J.K. Rowling regrets Ron and Hermione’s relationship. Um. Yeah, lady, I’m sure Hermione has a few regrets herself.

Like a lot of fans I never bought that Ron and Hermione would have a happily-ever-after. They just never seemed suited to each other. I imagined that their marriage would leave them both frustrated and unsatisfied. And then there’s the little issue of Harry, Ron and Hermione all surviving the series. I love these characters and it would have been painful to see one of them die – but really? The last book felt to me like a bloodbath carefully orchestrated to distract readers from the fact that she couldn’t bring herself to kill any of the main characters, even though it would’ve been better for the story.

My bff has always felt that Ron’s sacrifice of himself during the chess match in the first story should have been foreshadowing of Ron sacrificing himself for Harry in the final battle, and I think she’s right. It would’ve felt more real – and, I think, more epic – if the main characters hadn’t all come out of it. Yes, plenty of beloved characters died, but really. I think she needed to take a few Joss Whedon lessons before writing that last book.

I also think that Harry and Hermione were far better suited to each other and I would have loved to see them get together, but I also would have been perfectly fine if Hermione hadn’t paired off with either of them. That might just be because I’d love to see a wildly popular YA series where the girl doesn’t live happily ever after with any of the boys in the story.

Moving on. The rumors that are making me flail are, of course, about Thor 3. It’s been announced that Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost will be writing it and rumors are flying every which way that the storyline will center around Ragnarok.

I don’t have many thoughtful thinky thoughts to share about this. Really, it’s all just: *FLAIL* AAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!

But in an excited way. Because of course I’m a Loki fangirl and the idea that his masquerade as Odin could result in him leading Asgard towards Ragnarok makes me squee wildly (such epic story potential!) and worry fretfully (AAAAH LOKI).

But really, if I’m equal parts wild squee and fretful worry, that means I’m a happy fangirl, yeah?

As of today Pinterest supports animated .gifs and I’m far too excited about that. It’s not even wholly because of the .gifs themselves, though I think it’s super neat that you can now choose to play them without having to click through at all. I’m also excited because Pinterest is already teeming with geekiness, but animated .gif support makes the format even friendlier to the fandom crowd.

I get that Tumblr is its own ecosystem and that’s fine – I have a Tumblr and I enjoy checking in on the unique madness of it. When it comes to actually using it as a tool to collect images and art that I enjoy, though? Tumblr has just always been so very, very clunky, to me at least. Pinterest is sleek and fast and well designed and so very easy to organize.

So yes, I am super pleased to see Pinterest expanding its support of image forms that are favored by the geeky crowd, not just because it’ll be far easier to see those lovely animations of Loki conking the dude with his staff on the staircase but because anything that helps convince more of the geek world to come set up shop on Pinterest makes me happy.

I’ve got a long-standing thing for games where you collect and raise critters – monsters in particular appeal to me.


My husband bought Midway Arcade Origins, a collection of old arcade game ports – including Gauntlet and Gauntlet II – for the PS3. Yesterday morning we played original Gauntlet for a while – I think we were around level 40 when the PS3 crashed and put an end to our shenanigans. It was a lot of fun and I saw way, way more of the game than I ever managed to see in the arcade as a kid. As much as I loved Gauntlet, yeah, I pretty much sucked at it.

Playing at home does, as Matthew put it, make you confront an existential void. The arcade version of course limited how long you could play by how many quarters you were willing to pump in to the cabinet. The PS3 version simulates quarter pumping by making you press the select button. Hardly the same thing. The internet seems to think that Gauntlet had unlimited levels – or at least far, far more levels than we’d ever reasonably feel like playing through. So it’s simply a matter of playing until you’re ready to stop playing, and the ability to pump your life infinitely does take the challenge out of it. We talked about sometime playing with “virtual quarters” – deciding that we each had, for example, $5 to play with, keeping track of how many times we pressed select and seeing how far we could get.

Yesterday morning, though, we just played until the PS3 crashed and it was good, nostalgic fun – which somehow managed to become even more fun when Matthew decided it sounded like one of the wizard’s random unintelligible exclamations sounded like “Garrison Keillor!” And another sounded like “Where is he?” thus proving that the wizard is on a quest to find Garrison Keillor.

My best friend and I have been writing frostiron together for over a year and a half now. We don’t make our writing available for reading – it’s just something we do for ourselves and each other, and keeping it private means we can be as silly or inconsistent as we want. We both enjoy fanart, and so as a birthday present for her (and hey, what’s better than a gift we can both enjoy!) I commissioned a piece from the talented Voodooling, whose art style I’m very fond of. I commissioned a piece from her once before and was so pleased with the results that I was eager to hit her up again.

As I told her after I saw the finished result, I love how her style is warm and cute without being cutesy. Aside from just having a super cool style and a great color sense, the pieces she’s done for me have both brilliantly conveyed the emotion and affection of the scenes.

So I highly recommend her if you’re wanting to commission a fandomy piece! And here’s the birthday art!

Spoilers: Click 'Show' to see the full sized version! Show

My heart-brother Chris came to visit for several days for New Year’s and we had a thoroughly amazing and epic visit with incredible food, ample alcohol and adventures around town.

Aaaand he hadn’t seen Thor 2 yet so we went to see it together. It was my 4th time seeing it in the theatre and I am still not tired of it. I probably won’t see it in the theatre again, but you never know. If a friend who hadn’t seen it yet wanted to go I certainly wouldn’t say no.

Perhaps the best part about the movie adventure, however, was the ridiculously adorable teenage gay boy cleaning out the theatre.


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