Sigh

Posted: May 6, 2012 in Just me
Tags: , , , , , ,


Today is the World Book Day! I just finished my book Lasso Rundt fra Luna of Agnar Mykle, which is a really great book. I have 5 large boxes of books in my house, but not enough book shelves to have them out. If I ever get a house I want a room where every wall is covered with books! Yes, I know that the word for that is library :p

I learned to read myself at the age of four, and have been reading lots ever since. I worked several years in a bookstore, which made me even more interested in literature. It’s really hard knowing what to tell people who come in and ask; can you recommend a good book? What I like is not necessarily what you like. When people are asked what their favourite book is they tend to answer something like the Great Gatsby, Kafka (seriously? You read the Process and thought “wow this rocks?” or anything of Paulo Coehlo. It’s like people think, “if I say I read Coelho I seem intellectual”. Although some of the  most top-selling books are Harry Potter, the Twilight Saga and the Da Vinci Code,  but no one rarely mentions these. Oh and the Bible. Apparently.

I think reading is good and you should never be embarrassed to tell anyone what your favourites are, doesn’t matter if they are shallow, pink and glossy or have deeper meanings in them.

I tried making a list of my favourites, which was hard, but I made a top 5 and will probably notice I forgot the most important ones right after posting this :)

Lars Saabye Christensen- Beatles. Read it first time when I was 10 and have been reading it about every other year since that. About four boys from Oslo and we follow them from the 60’s to the 70’s. It’s funny, smart, wonderful and sad.

Jack London – The call of the wild. ABout the sled dog Jack, everything is seen through his eyes.

Emily Brontë- Wuthering Heights. Well famous for its tragical love story. One of the first adult books I read, and I never get tired of it.

JRR Tolkien- Lord of the Rings. Not much to say really. Magical :)

Vladimir Nabokov- Lolita. A man’s obsession for young girls, especially his step-daughter Lolita. Might sound creepy, and of course it is, but… The book is so amazingly good. Movie is all right too :)

Do you have a favourite book? Happy Book Day!


It is, or at least it was until 1 minute ago, Earth Day, so I decided to write some more from my trip, where I felt very close to nature. Hurtigruten travels 365 days a year, and the trips during different seasons are nothing like each other. My spring coastal journey was called “The Arctic Awakening” which is exactly what it is. Up in the North the darkness is beginning to let go and will soon be replaced with the midnight sun, which dominates from May 13th to July 31st. You really need to benefit from the sun which after this will be gone for 6 months. And when spring starts to kick in, like it is now, it’s like watching an entire frozen civilization coming alive. The climate, the people, the wildlife. The mountains will their caps decorated with snow all year round, but in the middle of icebergs you see little islands where trees, bushes and branches wake up and force their way up and forth, pushing the intense cold back.

On the third day we crossed the Arctic circle. Tradition says that when you cross that line for the first time you need to be baptized. So we all gathered at deck and had a ceremony where we toasted in- oh yummi!- pure fish oil. If you are not a fan of eating fish this might make you want to throw yourself over board. If you do like the taste of fish you might only want to make funny faces for a few minutes. But hey, once we were vikings right? Tourists may find it terrible, but Norwegians stay tough. *tries to convince herself*

After Arctic Circle we went into Temperate Zone, and it was like turning off a switch. Goodbye icebergs, hello mountains. Farewell white, welcome green. We simply went from winter to spring, with nothing left from the Arctic than wonderful memories, hopefully captured on film. And of course with the taste of  fresh fish oil.

Traveling alone is nice. You get to plan your own day and do exactly what you want to do, whenever you want to do it. I love it. And I didn’t feel lonely for a second on the trip. While sailing through nature so powerful and breathtaking like this, you sort of feel small and, well, just happy and most of all honoured to be there to witness it all. However, during meals there are reserved tables, meaning you will eat your lunch and dinner at the same table each night. At “my” table I was so lucky to end up sitting next to some wonderful people, a Norwegian couple in their 60’s and a Swedish daughter and father, where the father is close to 90 years old. My new friend! Conversation never ran dry, and the food… oh the food was simply wonderful. Norwegian local specialties, fresh from ocean or forest. Mmm.

Although the boat has wireless internet on board, it’s slow and uploading pictures takes about same time as a full walk around deck. But by all means. In the middle of the nowhere, at sea. I wouldn’t even expect to get wi-fi what so ever. The ship arranges several excursions, slightly more on the northbound route than the south one, because we arrived quite a few ports late at night. I signed up to snowmobile trip in the middle of the night, where we would get training in driving one before we’d drive into the white desert and hunt for northern lights and wildlife. Extremely exciting I think, but they called me the night before it was due to tell me that bad weather and potential landslides made it too dangerous to drive. Weather is to be respected at all times. So I had no choice but to go back to bed, after taking off the 4 layers of clothes I was wearing. Speaking of clothes, they were all frequently used (often all at once!) till we crosses the arctic circle. After that I could leave some of them in cabin, and by the time I reached Bergen I was back to normal citywear. I quite enjoyed wandering in the cities up North dresses like ready landing on moon. Traveling on Hurtigruten is not about looking hot, as long as you are not cold everything goes. Fashion did not seem to exist there, and I loved it.

An excursion that was not cancelled was eagle safari, a fishing boat came to pick us up and we went near icebergs and rocks to look for eagles. Sea eagle is Northern Europe’s largest bird of prey, with wings that spread out can be more than 2 meters. Gliding above your head, well aware of its majestic position, combining grace and strength. It chases annoying seagulls away before diving the sea, like a rocket, catches a fish and flies away to consume its newly caught lunch. To me, she (because the ones we saw were females), symbolises freedom. And to witness her was magical.

That’s it for now :)Happy Earth Day!

 


Weekend was really good. I haven’t done much else but working, but a tense work situation is slightly changed for the better and, after several weeks of waiting and worrying,  it now feels I can breathe again. So I have done my work with a big smile. And that felt good.

Spent time with my sister and we made the most delicious cakes. At least they looked good, we ate so much dough, frosting and sprinkles while baking that when we were done none of us could eat anything else. When I came home I actually found raspberry frosting on my earlobe. Ew?

Also made the bestest (it is a word!) strawberry daiquiri, after a recipe I learned at my friend’s birthday party last weekend. Might be something everyone knows already, but… I thought I had to go to TGI Friday’s to get a decent daiquiri. I was wrong and hurrah for that :D Here is wonderful Annika’s recipe:

Oh and, I still play and enjoy WoW. But right now, I have not much to write about it. I’d rather write about other things at the moment, or both :) However, I read a very nice blog post on Harpy’s today, about Saga’s “worst dressed warlock” competition, where I think Harpy did a great job. My lock is purple and shiny, but I couldn’t compete with the outfits Harpy put together. She has my vote! Hope your weekend was as good as mine :)


Our guild was realm first to get I’m on a boat (25 player). ANd that is the only World of Warcraft referance I will do for some time. I thought about that because it is exactly what I am right now, on a boat I mean.

I have been to 34 countries in my life, but seen very little of my own country. So I figured Easter holiday was a good time to change that. And all I can think of now really is; why haven’t I done this before? My trip strted at home where I flew from Oslo to Kirkenes, which is right on the Russian border. For the record I really hate flying, something that’s become worse and worse for the last few years. And no, serving statistics about how much dangerous it is to get into a car does absolutely nothing, rien, nada for me. It’s like telling someone who’s scared of snakes that he should be scared of hippos instead, since they are a lot more dangerous. Or telling them hey, more people die from being hit by cocoanuts rather than snakes bites you know. Yeah I’m sure that information will make them all zen next time they see a snake.

I have this little book that’s supposed you to feel better, and author keeps saying you should tell cabin crew that you are scared of flying. Never done that before, but this time I did, went into plane, said hello to the smiling air steward   and mumbled something like, “eehhh oh and by the way, I’m scared of flying”. Felt like an idiot, but she didn’t seem to think I was and was extremely professional and friendly Thank you, Norwegian Airlines. A few minutes into the flight she came to my seat where I sat with tears in my eyes, squeezing my coffee mug, asking if I would like to come into the cockpit to meet the captain. I felt a bit silly, last time someone offered me to see the cockpit I had milk teeth and pigtails. However, I think it was really nice being introduced to the pilots who were funny, sweet and really reassuring. When people ask me why I am scared of flying, and what exactly it is that I am scared of.. well I can only say afraid of plane going down I guess. It has happened to people I know, another reason why the whole car statistic thing doesn’t do it for me. Turbulence freaks me out, and when that happens it’s like someone grabs my heart from inside, twists it, tears it apart and throw the pieces further down my stomach. Anyone who is going to fly with me needs a lot of patience, but on the other side, will be fully rewarded once we are safe down on the ground. Which we were, this time also.

After the two hours of me biting my lip we arrived Kirkenes, airport was about size as an average diningroom. Good for me, could instantly pick up my suitcase and found Kirkenes’ only taxi, driven by an x-oslo inhabitant who moved here some years ago and fell in love with the light / lack of light, the people and the nature. The city is right on the Russian border and 400 km above the arctic circle.  I got the grand tour from the car, we saw the snow hotel, Andersgrotta, an underground bunker from WWII frequently used at that time since Kirkenes is second after Malta on having the largest number of bomb attacks in Europe, with more than 1,000 alarms and 320 air attacks. Not many houses are left from that time.

Near Kirkenes three different time zones meet, and I was hopelessly confused to see my usually ever-so-trustworthy Iphone going bananas, switch time back and forth, making me have to look at my actual wrist watch!

The ship I am on is called Hurtigruten which translated means the  fast route.  The official English name is The Norwegian Coastal Express and is a fleet consistant of  ships, 11 have routes in Norway while the newest ship, MS Fram, sails in Greenland and Antarctica. Hurtigruten sails from Bergen in west to Kirkenes in the north, a roundtrip Bergen-Kirkenes-Bergen takes 11 days. One ship leave Bergen everyday, and visits 34 ports on its up way up to Kirkenes, same on the southbound route, which is the route I am currently on.

Hurtigruten started sailing in 1893 and was mainly sailing mail and cargo and could reduce a letters travel time from 3 weeks in summer and five months (!) in winter down to seven days. The fleet expanded quickly, and in the early 80’s the company started focusing also on tourism and upgraded ships to be larger and more comfortable. All together 70 ship has been in use for Hurtigruten. The ship I am on is called Finnmarken and was built in 2002. She can carry up t 1000 passengers, has a gym, several saloons and an outdoor pool area with a heated swimming pool and two jacuzzies.

I was happy to get upgraded to upper cabin deck when I checked in, I have lots of space and a nice starboard view. People asked me if I was going to get seasick, where I laughed and was like “please! I’m like Neptune!” Well. Two hours after leaving Kirkenes we came into rough, open sea and Neptune had to kneel for the toilet. Yuck. But after that I have been fine and I now know why they call it “World’s Most Beautiful Sea Voyage.” It really is.


There was a shared topic on Blog Azeroth (quite a while ago, but I’m slow), started by Azerothian Life, which was; Show me the Transmog!

I have to say, I have become slighty obsessed with Transmogrification. I love playing with Mogit, atlas loot, dressing room and most of all Wow Model Viewer in attempt of making my character look good-better-best. I am not too fussed about the tier sets, epics are nice but greens are my babies. Auction house is frequently scanned to find pieces I don’t have yet, which atm is not that many- it’s just that when I have a full armor set, the accessories chase begins. Finding the perfect shield is like finding the perfect handbag, and the mace needs to match the shield. Then there’s the problem of shoes, I’m sad to admit not everything looks good with hooves! So all in all… this takes a lot of time, and I’m loving it!

After I was fed up with wearing engraved (as above) and since it’s spring I wanted a bit more light outfit, but still shiny! So I went for gold, kinda like a holy paladin. Quite happy with the result too.

The golden set consists of:

Head- none (could go for Golden Scale Coif if you want a golden hood)

Shoulders – Golden Scale Shoulders, blacksmithing

Chest: Burnished Tunic, AH  (Alternative Golden Scale Cuirass, but I like showing off my blue skin).

Gloves: Ornate Gauntlets from AH

Waist: Ornate Girdle from AH, simply because it almost doesn’t show, I didn’t want any belt to ruin the legs who almost is a belt on its own

Legs: Golden Scale Leggings, blacksmithing

Feet: Tsunami Boots, these boots are made from leatherworking and I use them because they are invisible on me. They simply don’t show.  When wearing long trousers, boots only seemed disturbing for the outfit.

Mace: Rod of the Sun King, drop from Kael’Thas in Tempest Keep, any yellowish mace would do, though.

Shield: Sunward Crest bought with rep from Shattered Sun Quartermaster

 


My granddad once told me that when people asked me what I wanted to be when I was grown up, I could answer “happy” if I didn’t know what. Well, to be honest, I still don’t know what I want to be, apart from happy. However, there are times I am not. Now is such a time. It’s annoying. It’s tiring. And, which is why I am not too concerned, it’s probably just a phase. I feel blue and moody when seasons are changing.  And outside the first signs of spring have arrived. I am not sure what to do with my current work situation. There are some family issues affecting me. All added up; not being a ray of joy and fresh breeze of optimism. However, I  don’t feel like writing about wow. Killing dragons in a pixellated world might not make much sense to the majority of the (real) world. Writing about it probably even less. I am not to bothered about that, what people thing, but it’s hard to find inspiration when the mood is not there.

They say mmo’s is escapism. I believe in that. Escaping from the real world for a little while. Achieve things you can’t achieve here. Talking to people safe behind a screen. At least that’s how it used to work. At some point in wow I wanted to be more involved in guild. So I did that. And then I wanted to be even more involved. So I did that too. And somehow between that and now I ended up as GM of the guild. And on some days, all I want is not to be involved in guild. At all. Decisions in guild, about raid setup, dkp, forum, applications, progress… it all seems meaningless sometimes. And probably a complete waste of time to many others. Again, not a problem to me in its own, but when there are argues and disagreements over these things, over and over again, it is becoming one.

Sometimes I am thinking that oh, how nice wouldn’t it be to just be able to log in to a game and be anonymous, pick some flowers in Elwynn Forest, enjoy the aurora borealis over Grizzly Hills or just hunt for transmog gear all around the world. Group up with a few friends, have a laugh, maybe do raid finder at some point. I guess this is what WoW is all about to a lot of people. But to me, right now, it’s very much about stress, complaints and the pressure of having to push content, get better ranking, maximise skills, progress over anything else. I used to love that. I still somehow do. Just… would like some peace every now and then.

There’s a chance of meeting really great people in WoW. Some of them you may even meet in RL, like I have done, and become real friends. But then there are some that appear to be a friend but turns out not to be. I can be quite naive. Sometimes believing that someone is a friend does nothing else than backfire on you, in the end.

It would be easy enough to escape from. Escape the escapism. By clicking Escape, harr harr… But seriously, I could quit at any point. Sometimes it’s tempting. But it’s not what i want to do, not yet. There are some people who do turn out to be real friends, also. And those few make the whole thing enjoyable, still.

Ever felt you are really fedup but few things make it somehow worth it anyway? Or am I alone in thinking this :S

 


So there is a  challenge going on in the blog universe of World of Warcraft, and I noticed I had been challenged by Syrco Owl.

This is what you are supposed to do:

- Go into your image folder
– Open the sixth sub-folder and choose the sixth image.
– Publish the image! (and a few words wouldn’t hurt, though I dare say I couldn’t stop a blogger from adding a few words of their own).
– Challenge six new bloggers.
– Link to them.

Fair enough, but this made me question something… do people have sub-folders in their screenshot folders? :o Because I don’t. I should have, considering I have 4488 screenshots in my folder. And my pc is 1,5 year old. That’s an average of… well, many screenshots a day ;) I have never been the organising kind in anything I do. I don’t arrange items, clothes or anything else by colour, size or any kind of system. I am a pretty messy person, but I have a good memory so I rely on that when I need to find something.

I used a random number generator to pick out a screenshot, it’s not the sixth, it’s the 1852nd. Close enough?

This was taken ‎6th ‎of December ‎2010, ‏‎23:58:58. That is one minute before Cata release, and everyone were gathered up in Stormwind, waiting for the magic hour. To take up as much space as possible, everyone got on their mammoths. It was an exciting and fun night. I remember some were really tensed, planning on getting the realm first achievement for something, having a plan prepared to accomplish it. And then, after release, several people struggled getting online. There were some raging going on, that’s for sure!

I am passing the Sixth Challenge on to:

Kirina’s Closet

Jinxed Thoughts

A Sunnier Bear

The Grumpy Elf

Totem Forest

Dodge, Parry, Block

 


… or, in this case, till death do us reroll.

That’s one of the basic rules of the Ironman Challenge. A guildie told me about this, and I couldn’t resist look into it.

People are constantly moaning about WoW becoming too easy, free epics etc – well, no need to worry about that in Ironman. Basically it’s a personal challenge with rules you need to follow while leveling. Breaking the rules will disqualify you, some things people can never find out about, but most things will logged in achievements statistics. Let’s say you use a healing potion (which is not allowed), that can be tracked. Also, real Ironmen don’t cheat, hence the name!

Ground rules for Ironing:

  1. Only White or Grey gear. No Heirlooms of any kind.
  2. No transfer of gear, items, or money from any other character (yours or others).
  3. No gear enhancements, including gems, enchanting, and reforging. Class abilities are allowed (eg. Rogue poisons, Shaman imbues).
  4. No specialization, talent points, or glyphs. No pet talent points.
  5. No professions or secondary skills, except for First Aid.
  6. No potions, flasks, or elixirs except for required quest items.
  7. No food buffs or other external buffs (including buffs from items and other players).
  8. No groups or assistance from other characters, even if not grouped.
  9. No dungeons, raids, battlegrounds, or arenas.
  10. No guilds, except for level 1 guilds created specifically for the Ironman Challenge.
  11. No Refer-A-Friend.
  12. No addons which assist in combat and/or leveling (eg. leveling guides).
  13. THE BIG ONE: No deaths. Character death for any reason disqualifies the character

The following are allowed:

  1. All class abilities, racials, and personal buffs.
  2. All mounts, bags, and non-combat pets.
  3. All quests, including holiday events and dailies (unless prohibited by some other rule, eg. Fishing and Cooking dailies).

Some forums say you are supposed to generate a character randomly also, which I did to start with, using following rules  to create a random character on Earthen Ring RP realm. Still, most people seem to choose the class they prefer. I landed on human warlock, named it Ironically (you don’t have to, but most use the word iron in the name). Must she rest in peace- a group of Defia’s bandits in Elwynn was too much to handle. Even I only made it to level 7, dying and deleting character was no fun. The new me is now a level 13 hunter called Eliron. If I die, I will not start over again, but I am hoping to make it to at least 20, just for the experience. There is also a leaderboard where you can follow the Iron challengers right now there is a level 58 Tauren paladin in lead.

Why not try something different and join the Iron bunch at Earthen Ring? :D


Joel

I use real Id in game, I knew several people on other realms / factions and it’s nice to be able to say hi or just see what they are up to. Sometimes you notice people haven’t been online for days, weeks, months; people who were usually active players. Nothing unusual with that, most of them just have a break or stop playing, happens every day. That’s what I thought had happened to my “friend” Pokerock, who went from being a lot more online than me to nothing at all. I have to think hard to find out how we started talking, I think we were in the same Icecrown Citadel pug, where he came on his rogue and I brought my hunter alt. A cloak dropped which we both rolled on, I won it and noticed he had a horrible one, so I told him he could have it instead and started talking after that.

He was a very nice player, and I often asked him if he wanted to come do things with our guild, I even suggested he should apply to us. He said he was always temped, but that he was scared to mess up, that someone he knew had been in our guild and didn’t pass his trial, that he prefered doing well among “bad” players than ending up doing bad among better players. And no matter what I said, that he would learn, that he would easily catch up etc, he never gave it a try.

Joel and Tribeca

What’s the point in all this? Well, Joel just stopped coming online. From being online most of the evenings, he just disappeared. I though he had quit the game, and felt sad that he never said goodbye first. After all, we spoke a lot. I also tried writing him an e-mail, no reply. Some days ago I was in a group with someone from his guild (who also happened to be the GM) and out of curiosity I asked him, “so, what happened to Pokerock, did he leave or..?”. The answer I got was nothing what I expected, because it turned out, Pokerock is no longer playing since he is no longer alive.

What happened exactly is not really known, but it seems it was a personal tragedy.

I never met, and would probably never have met, Pokerock in real life. He was “only”an online acquaintance. Still, He was still more than a random player who played a rogue, there was a real person behind the screen. his name was Joel. He lived in southern England, worked in some kind of factory, which he often said he didn’t like. He was single, used to say he didn’t have time to care for anyone else but this plants and flowers, which after what he told me, was a great interest to him. He seemed bright, funny and often made jokes that made me laugh. He was 36. And he will never be 37.

There are many kinds of online relationships, I guess most of them are just like this, talking to some people every now and then, you know a bit of who they are and what they do without ever getting to really know them. Your common interest is the game, and for those who have been playing for some years, there are so many of these people, these online friendships that come and go. But you never think something like that would be the reason why.

E-mail from beyond

Tribeca has a total kill of 352709 creatures. 16068 of these are other players. She has died 6983 times. WoW is a game that is very much about killing things, whether they are boars, players or raid bosses. But the idea of actual death is rarely related to gameplay.  And if / when it happens, chances are you would never find out.

I remember reading something similar on Wow Insider, a player died in the middle of doing a quest and his daughter decided to get in touch with his online friends so they would know what had happened. This didn’t turn out to be an easy task, without any password or knowledge of his game, she was pretty lost. Article also mentions a couple of sites where you can register, add contacts, inform friends or family and, in case of death, they can access your site and send out a written in advance e-mail. Hello, sorry to inform you all that I am now dead..? Sounds very morbid, which is perhaps why one of these sites are called just that; Slightly Morbid.

Serenity Now

On Tuesday of February 28th Illidan lost not only a good mage, but a good person. For those who knew her, Fayejin was one of the nicest people you could ever meet. On Tuesday she suffered from a stroke and passed away later that night.

I’m making this post basically to inform everyone that might have known her. Also tomorrow, at 5:30 server time March, 4th. We will have an in-game memorial for her so that her friends can pay their respects. We will be having it at the Frostfire Hot Springs in Winterspring, because she loved to fish in the game ( she liked the sound of the water, it was calming for her ) and she loved snow.

If you would like to come show your respects please do. Thanks everyone

So girl who plays a mage in game dies. Friends want to have an in-game memorial and announce it on forum. Alliance guild “Serenity Now” picks it up, go there, gank everyone and make a video of it, adding some funky music. Result; huge debates in a shocked wow community. Reactions are many, but different. Taken from original forum thread:

“Congratulations, you have stopped lower than any other guild in MMO history”
“I’m not excusing it, but some of you guys are getting far too worked up over something that happened on the internet”

“Your still assmonkeys in real life and on the interwebs whether you got “honor” points for your actions or not.

Congrats on a new personal low. /golfclap”

“Like comparing a funeral with an rp-dorkathon event in an online video game?”

“Fayejin loved pvp, we thought we were doing a good thing”

Some call them *bleeep*ing *bleep**holes. Some call the funeral people a bunch of nerds for arranging an in-game funeral. Some think Fayejin got honoured, having pvp action in her own funeral. Right or wrong, Serenity Now (who’s still active, btw) will always be remembered as “that” guild.

Alicia’s Poem

I don’t like questing, I think it’s boring, and I almost never read what the quest says. There is one exception though, the quest Alicia’s Poem. It’s just a pick-up and hand-in-to-someone-else quest in Shattrath, and it’s sad, moving and beautiful all at once. The poem itself is actually based on one of my favourite poems, “Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep”, but there is a story behind it in WoW. It is a tribute to wow-player Dak Krause aka  who died from leukemia in August 2008. Blizzard named an NPC after him, Caylee Dak, who leads to Alicia in Shattrath, where the poem can be read. It has really touched my heart, and it now makes me think of Joel.

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am in a thousand winds that blow,
across Northrend’s bright and shining snow.

I am the gentle showers of rain,
on Westfall’s fields of golden grain.

I am in the morning hush,
of Stranglethorn’s jungle, green and lush.

I am in the drums loud and grand,
the thunderous hooves across Nagrand.

I am the stars warmly gleaming,
over Darnassus softly dreaming.

I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there. I do not die.