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Archive for the ‘Real Life’ Category

Kaelinda’s progress through the first chapter of the Venthyr Covenant campaign was slowed by searching out and doing a handful of side quests that she hadn’t discovered while leveling in Revendreth so as to finish up the Sojourner achievement for that zone. Eventually, I made my way through it and unlocked Threads of Fate for everyone else.

Except for Kaurinka, who was already most of the way through level 59 and chose Threads of Fate, they all chose to continue the story campaign. Kaurinka chose the Night Fae, then did “Aid Ardenweald” and part of “Aid Bastion” to get to level 60 and complete her initiation into the Night Fae. She has one more side quest left — the one that doesn’t unlock until a Covenant is chosen — to complete the Sojourner achievement for Ardenweald.

My opinion of Bastion and the Kyrian has gradually improved as I’ve visited the other zones. In Revendreth, too, the souls unburden themselves of the memories and experiences of their lives — though they do not completely forget who they were in life — and those who choose/are selected to become Venthyr take on new names and new forms, as the Kyrian do. I also understand now, which I didn’t quite at the beginning of my journey through the Shadowlands, that choosing a Covenant now doesn’t irrevokably bind my character’s soul to that realm & Covenant when she passes through the veil — the Arbiter (once we revive her, as I’m sure we’ll do by the end of the expansion) will still determine which realm is the most appropriate place for her. If I ever manage to get Kasheena up to level 50 and decide to bring her on to the Shadowlands, I’ll probably choose Kyrian with her. Having two Tauren Night Fae Druids would be rather redundant, don’t you think? I like the Kyrian leather set better than the Venthyr leather set, for a Tauren, at least (the Venthyr set would suit my Blood Elf Rogue or Demon Hunter quite nicely, though), and the Necrolords leather set is a flat NOPE.

In terms of progression through Covenant stories, I’m currently working on Venthyr, of course, and will probably continue to keep that Covenant in the lead. I’m next-most interested in Night Fae, then Kyrian, and Necrolords last. I am slow enough, and there is enough to do with each Covenant, that it might take me half of the expansion just to get through the 9.0 content! Looking at the sources for the four tints of the Covenant armor sets, it looks like I want to prioritize getting the Travel Network and the Special Feature up and running first, then the Anima Conductor to boost my Anima-gathering capability to supply the staggering amounts of Anima required to upgrade the other features and to purchase the various items of the armor sets. I might just ignore the Command Table/Adventures entirely, though.

Kaelinda is for the moment stalled out on the quest to go back into the Maw and ask Ve’nari for help getting into Torghast. I’ll likely do as little of both the Maw and Torghast as I can — basically just what the Covenant campaigns and Renown quests require of me. Other heroes of Azeroth can be the champion Maw Walkers, just as other heroes of Azeroth have been the ones to defeat the most challenging threats ever since we went to Draenor…

~*~*~

Meanwhile, Real Life is piling on distractions from Azeroth. I had an unusually light class schedule in Fall semester; for Spring, I have a much busier schedule of four lecture classes and two lab classes. Two of the lectures are the same course, but one section is MWFx50-mins and the other section is TThx75-mins, so they will require different preparation! I just had a birthday, and BTH gifted me Final Fantasy X and Horizon Zero Dawn on Steam. The last time I actively used Steam was while Portal 2 was the new hotness, so just getting my account reactivated is going to take some fuss and bother. BTH would like us to do parallel plays of FFX — we haven’t played a game together for a few years now — and I did enjoy watching him play HZD a couple of summers ago when a friend loaned BTH his PS4 while he was out of the country for the summer. Thus, my continuing progress through the Shadowlands is likely to be quite slow indeed.

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When I was in my late teens, I asked my maternal grandmother to teach me how to do her afghan crochet stitch. This is the first afghan I made, and I still have it:

In the succeeding two-plus decades, I’ve made dozens of afghans; this past weekend, I finished #42. Most of them have been approximately queen-sized and have been given to friends or relatives as wedding presents. Several have been crib-sized and have been given to friends or relatives as baby shower presents.

The Geek Afghans


#14 “Hydrogen”: This piece is based on the atomic emission spectrum of hydrogen. Each of the 100 rows represents 3 nm of the approximately 400 – 700 nm wavelength visible range of light, with 700 nm at the top and 400 nm at the bottom. The red, green, violet, and purple stripes are located at the correct locations for where those lines actually appear.


#31 “And There Was Life”: Each of the four grayscale and greenscale shades in this piece represents one of the four nucleotide bases. Every two rows is a nucleotide base; every six rows is a codon. The sequence, when translated into the one-letter codes for the amino acids, reads “AND THERE WAS LIFE” from top to bottom, with the “LIFE” section in green.


#39 “Pi”: This crib-sized afghan is based on the first digits of pi up to the sum of 100. Each digit from 1 – 9 is represented with a different color and the block of that color is that many rows wide. Single-crochet rows in black and white represent the decimal point and the digit 0, respectively.

(more…)

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1. Cancel my nighttime Zoom student help session. It’s Thanksgiving week, and nobody ever shows up on Monday anyway.
2. Log in with each of my level 50 characters so that they can begin accruing Rested status.
3. Take either Kaelinda or Kaurinka through the introductory Maw experience and get her Hearthstone set to Oribos
4. Get away from the crowds, bottlenecks, and bugs by leveling my Highmountain Tauren Druid, Kasheena.

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I’ve fallen into a WoW lull over the past several weeks. I’ve got an unusually light course load at school this semester — but a health condition that has developed, and a medication that I’m taking to help with this condition, have made it so that I just can’t stay up late like I used to. When I’m finished with my evening slate of schoolwork, I more and more frequently just go to bed. If the Emissary reward isn’t 2K gold, or I’m not working on outfits for the next Sunday Mog Show, I don’t have much motivation to stay up late in Azeroth.

Are there things I could be doing? Sure. Deaths of Chromie to get the Timelord title and the special Mog set, N’Zoth Assaults and Horrific Visions to get the second upgraded appearance of the Shroud of Resolve, Legion dungeon & raid Mog farming, alt leveling… I just… don’t feel like it. Not even parking alts in the Caverns of Time for quick & easy Trivia Quiz XP.

As for the upcoming pre-launch events, well, I hated the zombie invasion event the first time around, in the run up to Wrath of the Lich King. I didn’t at all appreciate the disruption to my regular patterns of play, especially when I tried to escape the chaos in Orgrimmar by attempting to level an alt (most likely Kerisa) in Stonetalon Mountains and some level 70 jerk deliberately brought the Zombie Plague to Sun Rock Retreat.

So I’m probably not going to be playing much WoW between now and the actual launch of Shadowlands. Sure, I’ll take Kaelinda out to do the pre-launch event story quests in Icecrown and experience that lore at least once. I’ll most likely also put forth the effort to collect the cloth version of the Mog set from the event, because if I don’t, I’ll probably wish later that I had.

Everyone else, however, is going to retreat to their Garrisons — and characters who don’t have Garrisons yet I’ll just not log on.

I do have a special installment of the Sunday Mog Show planned for the 22nd, but things will probably be pretty quiet around here until then.

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Shadowlands goes live in the evening on Monday 26 October!
What’s my school schedule like that week? Ah, good, I’ll be in the middle of a unit for all my classes — no Exams to be writing or grading. Could I get away with cancelling my 9:30 – 10:30 pm Zoom student help sessions that week?

These are the characters who will be going:


Archmage Kaelinda: Blood Elf Mage, Fire, Scryer/Venthyr
Firelord Kalaneia: Blood Elf Warlock, Destruction, Scryer/Necrolords
Crusader Keliora: Blood Elf Priest, Discipline, Aldor/Kyrian
Archmage Kaelyla: Void Elf Mage, Frost, Scryer/Night Fae


Archmage Kaylynda: Human Mage, Arcane, Scryer/undecided
Archdruid Kerisa: Tauren Druid, Balance, Aldor/Night Fae
Farseer Kamalia: Tauren Shaman, Elemental, Aldor/Night Fae
Highlord Karaelia: Tauren Paladin, Protection, Aldor/Kyrian

At the moment, I am planning on having Kerisa go first. It would feel odd to not lead out with a Tauren. From what little I know about the Night Fae Covenant story (having studiously avoided spoilers), Kerisa is the character who will be most personally invested in that story, so she should go through it first. Kaelinda will probably be next, then the rest of the Eversong Elves, and then Kaylynda — after I’ve seen enough of the Covenants with other characters to figure out which one would be the best fit for her. Kamalia and Karaelia will probably not travel to the Shadowlands until the latter half of the expansion, when I’ve done most of what I want to do with the other characters and have learned how to navigate the zones, questchains, and gameplay systems — and there are starting to be catch-up mechanics for alts in place!

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Three weeks later, I continue to have an incredibly difficult time disciplining myself to focus on schoolwork rather than noodling around in WoW.

I spent about a week and a half doggedly queuing for Kul Tiras dungeons until I got the robe and belt of both the green (Normal) and blue (Heroic) versions of the Kul Tiras cloth dungeon set.

I took Kinevra back to the Broken Isles to finish her Order Hall Campaign and earn the Archmage title.

I took Kaelinda back to Nazjatar and completed the Nazjatar Campaign mostly for RP reasons.

I took Kaelinda back to the Broken Isles and completed the Legionfall Campaign so that she could then get the Mage Class Mount — the Archmage’s Prismatic Disc is the only one of the Class Mounts that I’ve been really and truly envious of when I’ve seen other people riding it around.

Inspired by Gnomecore, I toyed with the notion of pushing Kaelinda through the Balance of Power questline. She already has the necessary Azsuna and Suramar quest progression and Azsuna, Stormheim, and Suramar reputation. I’m mildly interested in the Balance of Power appearance for Aluneth, but I don’t much care for the Balance of Power apperances for Felo’melorn or Ebonchill. So maybe I’ll come back to that sometime in Shadowlands.

While hanging out in the Hall of the Guardian, I saw a couple of other Mages wearing the cosmetic reward set for beating Deaths of Chromie and thought, O, I should go give that a try — and then I thought, nah, I don’t have that kind of time right now. That’s another thing that maybe I’ll come back to sometime in Shadowlands.

I’ve more or less given up on the idea of gathering any more stuff out of BfA LFR; I can’t afford to spend naptime or my nighttime hours idling in a 1-2 hour DPS LFR queue.

What I would still like to accomplish before the Shadowlands pre-patch arrives is A) get Kaelyla leveled and geared and ready to go and B) do some more Horrific Visions with Kerisa and get the second upgraded appearance for the Shroud of Resolve.

But for the next two or three weeks, I’ve really got to be disciplined and do schoolwork.

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Since reaching 120, Kinevra has done the Alliance side of things all out of order*. She did Mechagon first, so I could do the Mechagnome recruitment questline. Then Nazjatar, then the 8.0 War Campaign, then the Shroud of Resolve, then the 8.1 and 8.1.5 chapters of the War Campaign, then the second Siege of Orgrimmar and its small follow-up quests. I ended up doing the Pride of Kul Tiras storyline last — I’d heard that it was most excellent, perhaps the best story in all of Battle for Azeroth, so I suppose I was “saving the best for last” — and indeed it was as magnificent and moving as promised.

Having properly saved Jaina, I could finally recruit the Kul Tirans. At last, my roster is complete with a character of every race as Kayliddia the Kul Tiran Mage joins The Blue Team of my major characters.

Kayliddia’s parents were retainers on Lord Norwington’s estate. As a child, she showed promise as a magic-wielder, so when she reached the appropriate adolescent age to be apprenticed for a trade, Lord Norwington sponsored her training as a Tidesage. When her training was complete, she served as a Tidesage in Lord Norwington’s shipping fleet**. When the Horde raided Norwington Estate, one of her parents was killed, and the other parent and one of her younger siblings who was still at home were seriously injured. Kayliddia requested to be released from her service as a Tidesage to care for her wounded family members. When they had recovered, she further requested to be allowed to fight the Horde alongside Kul Tiras’ renewed allies, the Alliance***.

Before I did the Kul Tiran stories, I did the Heritage of the Sin’dorei questline with Kaelinda. I greatly enjoyed it and intend to write an RP story about it for her, like I did with Kamalia and the Heritage of the Shu’halo questline. First, however, I have to figure out where Kaelinda was and what she was doing when the Fall of Silvermoon originally happened.

With these major lore goals accomplished, all that’s left of my rest-of-BfA/pre-Shadowlands to-do list is mog farming and alt leveling:

* obtain the robe and belt of the Normal and Heroic versions of the Kul Tiras dungeon cloth set (the other pieces will be nice to have if I get them along the way)
* obtain the belt, gloves, and boots of the Uldir LFR cloth set (I already have the robe and shoulders)
* obtain the Phoenixfire Staff from the first wing of Dazar’alor LFR

* finish leveling Kaelyla to 120 and prep her for Shadowlands (rank 1 Shroud of Resolve, four rank 3 Essences, ilevel above 430)

* level Kasheena for Highmountain Tauren Heritage Armor

Although I want the Kul Tiran Heritage Armor very much and have all kinds of other Mogging that I want to do with Kayliddia (and I think I might want to take her to the Shadowlands, too), I plan to hold off on leveling her until Shadowlands so that I can do her leveling entirely in Kul Tiras and do all the quests and learn all the Kul Tiran lore that I skipped with Kinevra#.

* if I finish all these other things before the Shadowlands pre-launch events begin, do more Horrific Visions with Kerisa to get the second upgraded appearance of the Shroud of Resolve

The most significant thing to me about having completed my big Battle for Azeroth lore goals, though, is that hopefully now my brain will be able to shift out of “it’s summer and all I wanna do is play WoW” mode and into “Fall semester is coming up fast and it’s time to focus on getting my classes organized” mode.

~*~*~

* In-character, though, of course she would have done all these things in the proper chronological sequence.

** Or that of one of his business partners; it’s not clear if he would have a fleet of his own

*** Hmm… Kinevra, Kaelyla, and Kayliddia all have cause for strong grudges against the Horde, so I’m going to have to think about if/how they can still be able to work amicably with Kaelinda.

# Because the BfA Loremaster achievement is accountwide, Kamalia’s completion of the Zandalar storylines meant that Kinevra didn’t actually have to do everything in Kul Tiras. In fact, because she gained several levels during the WoW’s 15th Anniversary event from the trivia daily, she did little beyond the main storyline of Tiragarde Sound.

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All of this racially-charged unrest in the past week or so… I recognize that I am privileged. I am white, well-educated, and own my modest middle-class home outright (we paid off the mortgage about a year and a half ago). Neither I nor my husband have lost jobs or loved ones in the pandemic, and the disease has not come to our small, rural city — yet. But our adopted children are not white. Although they are of Pacific Islander rather than African descent, they are still brown-skinned. When my sons are grown, someone seeing them on the street will make assumptions about who they are that will probably not include adoption, white parents, and a comfortable middle-class childhood. And racism is a war that they — and I — are likely to begin fighting on a personal level as soon as they begin school.

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My college’s Spring Break is officially next week. Classes were cancelled this week, and I should have spent the time practicing with screencasting and web-conferencing software to get ready for taking my courses online after Spring Break. Spring Fever hit me hard in the middle of the week, though, and I spent an afternoon playing Kinevra through chapters 4 – 6 of the 8.0 Alliance War Campaign and doing the Tyrande’s Vengeance questline instead of working. While doing those things, I was sitting in LFR queue for the second wing of Dazar’alor — trying for the crown, of course. Since she reached level 120 a few weeks ago, Kinevra has also achieved Friendly with both Mechagon and Nazjatar to get the Rank 1 versions of those Essences. Kinevra’s ilevel and Heart level have both surpassed Kamalia’s.

Now with Blizzard implementing double XP gain for the next month, I’m sorely tempted to finish leveling Kerisa, Kaelinda, and Karaelia to 120 instead of doing schoolwork…

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On March 9, 2010, I made my first post as a WoW blogger.

Wrath of the Lich King was winding down and Cataclysm was on the horizon; that first post mentions plans I was making in anticipation of the coming changes of Cataclysm.

I had a few long-term WoW goals back then, and, over the past decade, I’ve accomplished them. I raided (in LFR) with a healer of every healing class during Mists. I got a Horde character of each of the existing classes to the level cap in Mists, Warlords, and Legion. I pushed an Alliance character to the level cap at the end of Cataclysm so that I could play the Alliance side of the pre-Mists events at Theramore; that character continues to be the only Alliance character that I actively play.

The introduction of LFR and Transmogrification in late Cataclysm revolutionized my WoW game. The upgrade of Transmogrification with the Appearances collections in late Warlords changed it further. The “Things my [Class] Wears” and “Sunday on the Promenade” series of posts have become this blog’s core content.

Once upon a time, I thought that when this big milestone occasion arrived, I’d put together something elaborate and special. Real Life has gotten in the way of that, however.

I landed my dream job; BTH and I bought a house and adopted two children. My blogiversary is now greatly overshadowed by its proximity to my older child’s birthday. The past couple of academic years have been rather rough and I’m running on the edge of burnout in my job — and that general exhaustion has propagated a feeling of being on the edge of burnout in keeping up with the “Sunday on the Promenade” series here on the blog, as well. So this small post of simple acknowledgement will have to do.

Here’s to TEN YEARS!

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