Serving Beer Makes Me Feel Oddly Creative.

When I was a teenager I loved to draw. I spent most of my lunch breaks at school drawing, mostly copying pictures from anime and comics, but that helped me get a basic knowledge of what to do and I did my own stuff too. I also used to write stories, though no one was EVER allowed to read them. Then between the ages of 17 and 20 something happened I’d rather not talk about and I pretty much stopped all that. I guess I got out of practice, and was far too critical of myself and found the antidepressants I was on made my hands tremble, so I stopped drawing all together. And that’s kind of been a theme. Same with the digital photo manipulation, my life went haywire for a while and I’ve found it hard to get started again.

Then I started working behind the bar at work. It’s amazing what serving beer can do for you! For the first time in years I feel creative.

Firstly I have found a new self confidence. I never would have seen myself in a job so closely interacting with people a few years back. I haven’t mastered the art of small talk yet, but I find myself chatting to strangers, something that used to terrify me. Finally people are not scary! Well, yes, they are but I can ignore it and deal with them anyway.

And I’m guessing the new self confidence has awakened the creative part of me again. I have an idea for a story bouncing round my head, that I came up with on a very slow shift whilst washing glasses. It revolves around a pub, and is probably a bit Ashes to Ashes meets Neil Gaiman, but I may just write it. I’d go into details but I’m always worried if it IS a good idea someone will pinch it before I do something with it :)

And I want to draw! And photomanip! And oh my gosh I’ve not felt like this in years…

Now I just have to find the time.

No Invite? No Problem

When I signed up for the World of Warcraft annual pass it was the free Diablo 3 and the shiny in game mount that attracted me. I figured I would be playing WoW anyway and paying the subscription so I signed up. The guaranteed Mists of Pandaria access really wasn’t a big draw for me.

So it feels like I’m the only person in this game who isn’t QQ’ing over the fact I didn’t get a beta invite the day it opened. I’ve seen so much rage it baffles me. I’ve still not decided if I’m going to even join in when I do get my invite. Levelling Pinkamena has made me realise that I’m bored of old and current content, even the Cataclysm areas. So I want to MoP to remain fresh as long as possible (by the time it comes out I’ll have at least 6 lvl 85’s to get to 90). Even the Pandaren starting areas. So I’m quite happy to read about the new content without playing in the beta.

If I change my mind then I’m sure I’ll get my invite eventually. So all you impatient people

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Just When You Thought Spam Couldn’t Get More Annoying.

I’ve been around blogs enough to know all about the lovely spambots that leave comments in the hopes of it slipping through the net and actually getting published.  Usually I get inane waffle written by someone who obviously doesn’t speak english as a first language, and the user info links to something like impotency tablets or something.

Then today I had a spambot do something even more annoying than usual.

It just totally spoilered the end of Mass Effect 3.

I have been kind of busy and haven’t managed to get massively far in ME3, and I’ve been avoiding spoliers like the plague.  It’s bad enough that people are whining about the crap end to the game all over the place, but I managed to avoid details.

But nooooooo, Mr Spambot just had to go and leave a massive big spoilerbomb in my spam filter that I ended up reading whilst checking.

Gender Stereotypes and Your Not So Average Tom Boy

I was lying in bed this morning reading some MMO Melting Pot articles when one got me thinking. Or rather one of the posts linked did, by Mataoka, and what she said about being a Tom Boy AND a girly girl.

Let me show you my last two purchases.

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And

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So a computer game and a handbag. Pretty much sums up my life.

From a young age I was a bit of a Tom Boy. I hated wearing skirts, and would tramp up and down the local countryside with two of my best friends, who were both boys (one of whom was G, who I’m now marrying), climbing trees and getting covered in mud exploring. But at the same time I loved My Little Pony, and would play with them for hours with another of my best friends, a girl.

Fast forward to now and it’s pretty much the same. I love computer games, and horror movies, and caving, and I loathe Sex and the City and Desperate Housewives, give me Supernatural or CSI any day. But I also love pretty jewellery, I own far too many handbags, I like expensive perfume, I buy dresses and I still love My Little Pony. All mixed in with the Goth stuff, but that’s not relevant to this post.

I’ve had my fair share if being judged by men for being a girl and playing computer games. But that’s been written about a few times. I’m going to write about the other side of things.

Being judged negatively by other women for liking ‘manly’ things. Because other women can be just as sexist as men.

Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the case with every single woman out there. I have female friends quite accepting of my Tom Boy side. And not all of them are Tom Boys themselves!

But I’ve had women sneer at me for liking computer games. I’ve been calling a “f***ing lesbian” because of it, and accused of being a slut because the only reason I show interest in games is to get men to like me. More often though I am judged not worthy of attention by them though, or someone to be humoured. This is usually by women I’ve worked with, though relatives and friends of friends have reacted the same way. And in a few, thankfully rare, cases, it’s come from total strangers.

One example: At an old workplace I turned up at a get together in a dress. I’d really made an effort, it was a special ‘do’, and I got quite a few compliments. And then a condescending comment of “Oh, you’ve tried so hard to be normal! You look great!” from a female coworker. Kind of ruined the night.

And it’s been the same in most places I have worked, because I like things perceived to be ‘male’, my interest in things ‘female’ is treated as a thing of ridicule by some. Sexist? Damn straight it is.

What hope do women have for equality if women themselves enforce gender stereotypes? Why CAN’T a woman like gaming without being feminine as well? Why does one aspect of our lives prejudice others against us in this day and age?

“A woman can be whatever she wants” shouldn’t be followed with “But she’s a weirdo if she’s _______”.

So sadly, in some way men and women are equal. Equally ignorant.

When I have kids, the will be free to be whoever they chose with my full support. That’s a promise.

20 Days of WoW Blogging – Day 13 – People (players/bloggers) that you admire

There are many people in this game I admire.

Sherise/Celiso/she of many names from my guild is one. She lives a very busy life with her job and yet still manages to kick ass when she does get to raid. And all the alts!! I don’t know how she keeps track!

And Theanorak, who’s job it is to keep us Enthusiasts in line and saved the guild from disaster by stepping in a GM at a bad time.

And Alquiel, who got me into this great guild. Maybe she isn’t a tree much anymore but she’s a great DK instead :)

And Anka, even if she is now Horde scum ( ^^ ), because she had the guts to follow her heart. (Now that sounds painful)

And Sephrenia, for the amazing amount of pets and outhealing me all the damn time!

Blog wise, well you just have to look at my Blogroll. Everyone I have listed have great things to say, I’d recommend any of them.

And the people who don’t fall into either catagory:

Boalicina, the gnome Mage from an old guild I was in, because he mixed being a skilled player with a lovely, lively person.

And Hallan, or rather my friend Oscar, who went from being an ingame friend to a real life friend, for going back to school and achieving his dreams no matter how hard it was.

And now for the non WoW stuff:

George Takei, for having an awesome voice and all his hard work for LGTB rights.

My friend Coileach, for his humanity and love of all things chicken related!

My dad for dealing with the crap the last few years have thrown at him, and still being able to play 9 holes of golf aged 74, albeit full of painkillers to do so.

And my brother, who has dealt with a bad knee and two operations, and has just started his own blog about working on the railway, and computer games.

Pretty Pandas and a Bit of a Rant.

They have revealed the female model for the new Pandaren race in WoW. But you already knew that.

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I like her. I still don't like how male Draenei are big, hulking things and yet the females are skinny whispy things, and I was worried the Pandarens would go the same way. I'd like her to look a but fiercer though, I hope there are options for that. Ideally I'd still like more customisation choices during character creation, for height, weight etc. I've never been able to get into Everquest 2 but damn, I could play with the character creator all day.

Now I'm going off on a tangent, sorry. I noticed a lot of comments about how the existing female character models look are 'like something from a men's magazine'. I know the type of thing, mags like FHM with pneumatic looking blondes on the front cover. They are much maligned for objectifying women, and promoting the idea that the only skinny women are attractive. Whether you agree with that or not is not the purpose if this post. Rather, why is it we vilify men's magazines when women's magazines are just as bad? I can pick up a women's magazine and see photos of celebrities imperfections splashed over the pages with mocking comments "Look, she has cellulite, the fatty!!" or "Oh dear, a little bit of her wobbles, she's really let herself go!". Ok, there are less bare boobs in them, but they objectify women none the less. I rarely read them myself, only in waiting rooms if there is nothing else on offer, but when I do I feel a little bit of my self esteem wither and die. But you never see campaigns to get them off the shelves, unlike lads mags. I think I'll stick to reading National Geographic in my GP's waiting room.