We Interrupt Your Regular Programming…
It slipped by me. First, forgiveme for interrupting the always-engaging mathematical break down of races as bosses. We’ll resume Wednesday by looking at the expansion dungeons, but I noticed an odd fact that I could have sworn was wrong and couldn’t wait another few correspondences to point it out.
If someone had put a gun to my head and asked me when we’d started conversing, dear reader, I would have sworn it was last March, almost a year ago. However, in preparing to write my first year blogiversary post, I learned a dire, startling fact: we started last February. On the tenth. My blogiversary has passed me by, by nearly a month.
I was so caught up this past month with the Couples and Wow series as well as providing a platform for my buddy to talk about M:tG, and I was so sure that I’d started in March, that it never occurred to me to just check to make sure. Ah well, no real harm done, except a belated birthday.
In keeping with the trend of reflection over past years, I’d like to take a moment, dear reader, to revisit just how things came to be this way.
I’d considered blogging for some time. The same friend who I recently reconnected with had a blog years and years ago, a personal blog, and that just wasn’t for me. I was too busy working at school, loving teaching, and otherwise living my life to find time to put it down in print.
Only upon moving to Illinois and finding myself working part time instead of full time did I feel I had so much free time that I should do something, well, meaningful. Since I’d lost the meaning my job used to provide, I felt I needed another outlet. It was rough, the move, the inability to find the work you want – desperately want – to be doing. I had a lot of darker moments during that time (and still, occasionally, do), some of which have been cataloged here. The blog was a way to keep doing what I love, talking, teaching, and sharing ideas and knowledge.
Since I was so unhappy with a majority of my life (about half my waking hours, if you consider I used to work 8 out of my 16 conscious hours a day), I figured I didn’t want to write about that. Instead, I decided to write about something that still did make me happy: playing games. A majority of my play time was in WoW, so a WoW blog made sense. With that decided, I could move on to more practical matters.
Practical, like, what should I name my blog? I initially started with Part Core Gamer (which still exists, though nothing’s published there), but that seemed a little too reminiscent of pornography, and I didn’t want to set myself up for that kind of… misunderstanding. I wracked my WoW brains for something clever, but nothing really came to me. I didn’t want anything too silly nor too serious; I didn’t want anything that suggested too much expertise or too little. I needed something memorable, but not garish (like a Super Bowl commercial).
Then it struck me. I consider myself a narrativist; I believe in stories. All religions are stories, after all, and the memories that construct our identities are stories. Stories have a great power, so I needed to channel a WoW story for my title, so I did.
I may have recounted the story of our title before; I’ve written so much I don’t recall, but if not, here it is.
Years ago when Zul’Gurub was still a raid, my two WoW buddies stood before Venoxis, the High Priest of snakes. He had adds back then, nasty, dangerous adds that needed to be CC’d. One of my buddies, a mage, had been tasked to polymorph one of Venoxis’s adds. However, he’d never been here before, and the raid leader wasn’t doing much in the way of explaining the fight. When the boss was suddenly pulled, my mage buddy choked, and his add ran lose, causing much mayhem and chaos.
In a now-stereotypical “bad raid leader” moment, the raid leader began yelling into vent, chastising my buddy for failing at his roll. It went something like this:
“WHAT THE FUCK? WHY ISN’T DIAMOND SHEEPED? MALCHIAH! WHEN I SAY SHEEP THE DIAMOND, YOU SHEEP THE FUCKING DIAMOND! WHAT DIDN’T YOU UNDERSTAND ABOUT THAT?! MALCHIAH, SHEEP THE DIAMOND!” This went on for some time, and thus the blog was named.
So with the most important aspect of the blog under my belt, the title, I decided I should probably try to figure out the small stuff, you know, like how to actually blog. I’d been following a lot of different blogs for a while, Slice and Dice and The Pink Pig Tail Inn being the two I frequented the most. In an unusual act of cold bravery, I emailed Larisa about her process, doubting I’d ever hear back from such a prominent and well-known blogger. Of course, as we all know, Larisa was and is one of the friendliest (I’m aware some disagree, but from my point of view), most helpful bloggers around, but I didn’t know that at the time. She responded with an extensive email, complete with links to her own and others’ “How to Blog” style posts. She spoke a lot about getting started and how to get noticed, and she gave me probably the most powerful piece of blogging advice I got: don’t just blog, go read others’ blogs and comment on them. That began the long lesson on how interconnected our blogging community is, rife with arguments and disagreements but, more importantly, powerfully held together with a set of ideals about sharing information, discussion and (usually) mutual respect.
It’s been a real pleasure this last year getting to know all of you, and I look forward to many more years to come (I can hope). I’ll save my “favorite posts” post for my 200th correspondence (which is only 15 away), so keep an eye out for that. Next time, we’ll resume our regularly scheduled series.
Stubborn (and sentimental)