30 Days of Video Games | Day 2: Into the Mists

Hello, friends! I’m back again to bring you Day 2 of A Geeky Gal’s 30 Day Video Game Challenge! I had a lot of fun writing yesterday’s post, and I hope you’re all enjoying this challenge as much as I am. I’d love to read your posts if you’re participating! Let’s get started with today’s question. Continue reading “30 Days of Video Games | Day 2: Into the Mists”

Dream Journal 8/20/17 | Halloween

I was in a large common area with a bunch of other people my age. All along the walls were numerous, small kitchen units, which looked outdated, yet were somehow futuristic. Continue reading “Dream Journal 8/20/17 | Halloween”

Daily Prompt 2/17/2016 | Secrets

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 2/17/2016 | Evasive Action

What’s the most significant secret you’ve ever kept? Did the truth ever come out?”

If I told you that, I’d probably have to kill you. That’s the point of a secret, right?

Okay, in all seriousness, I am basically the Keeper of Secrets to everyone. Though most of the secrets that I have been keeping are no longer secrets, and the owners of said secrets have brought them to light, I still choose not to tell them. Personally, I don’t have secrets. I have one secret, that is mine, that I have not told anyone. I want to, but I honestly don’t know how, and if it would even make a difference in the effect that this secret has had on me.

But, I will tell you all a secret now that I am finally comfortable telling. Some of you may not understand, or even care, but it is important to me.

I have a friend, who is very near and dear to me. I won’t say his name, because I’m simply not sure if he would want me to. We met online, through Twitter, as well as the World of Warcraft community, and have been friends for years. My friend was married to a wonderful man for 4 years, and they played WoW together. On January 1st, 2013, my friend’s husband passed away suddenly, and unexpectedly, and he was absolutely devastated. There was nothing that I could do to comfort him in his time of need, as I was so far away, and being a friendly ear can only help so much.

During this time, I was also the host of a World of Warcraft podcast called Something Suggestive. While my show wasn’t big, I had made a bit of a name for myself in the community, and decided to go out on a limb, and talked to one of my favorite community managers about possibly having an NPC (non-playable character) added to the game in his husband’s memory. Blizzard is amazing when it comes to in-game memorials. After a little bit of back and forth between this community manager, as well as a game developer, we decided on a model, name, and location for his character.

In patch 5.2.0, the model, who was named and modeled after my friend’s late husband’s own character, was placed in the Seat of Knowledge, in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms.

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Very few people know that I did this, and I kept it quiet for years, even after the YouTube videos, WowHead article, and blog posts came out, talking about the tribute. I asked my friend not to name me. I didn’t want credit, or attention. I wanted to help. I wanted to do whatever I could to do fix some part of this horrible tragedy.

In the following weeks, there were beautiful in-game tributes and meet-ups on several severs, and you can still find the videos on YouTube, years later. I went to a handful of these as well.

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The way that the community rallied around our friend was incredible. Strangers, too, came from all corners of the world to pay their respects to our fellow community member.

It was beautiful. And I was so proud to be a part of the large group of people who reached out to show him that he was loved, and not alone.

And to my friend, if you are reading this right now, know that you are still so, so loved. ❤

And now you know my secret. Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Daily Prompt 2/9/2016 | Stats

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 2/9/2016 | The Stat Connection

“Go to your Stats page and check your top 3-5 posts. Why do you think they’ve been successful? Find the connection between them, and write about it.”

Hello, friends! For today’s prompt, I did a little digging through my stats for 2016 and 2016, and discovered that the following are my top 5 posts on my blog. My top pages were actually my Home/Archives page, as well as my About Me page, but I don’t count those as posts. I’m actually not that surprised by these results, as I’ve noticed that my personal blogs, as opposed to my prompt posts or reviews, tend to get a bit more attention and feedback. Here are my top 5 posts, with links and descriptions, in case anyone wants to check them out:

1) My Thoughts On First Birthdays
Exactly what the title states. My son was creeping up on his first birthday, and I was feeling a lot of pressure from society, and family, to throw him a big bash. Spoiler alert: I had other ideas.

2) Sinking Ships
A complete stranger attacked my parenting via Twitter, after following the leads of two of my so-called-friends, who had been sub-tweeting about me that morning, all over a completely innocent tweet, which was taken out of context, and blown out of proportion. It got heated. Spoiler alert: I’m an awesome mom.

3) 15 Facts About Me!
Just some more fun with my Twitter followers, involving a graphic, some hearts, and some fun facts about yours truly. There was even a Part 2! Spoiler alert: I’m not very interesting.

4) Most Terrifying Experience of My Life. WTF!
Just another day in the life of living in shitty apartments. Yellow jackets burrowed into my apartment, and my neighbor had to come rescue Liam and I. Spoiler alert: Yellow jacks are assholes.

5) Why I Chose to Leave WoW
World of Warcraft has played an unimaginably large part in my life, and after many years of playing, I say goodbye (for now?). Spoiler alert: Sad post is sad.

So there you have it! If you normally read my daily prompts, or my baby blogs, and want to get to know a bit more about what goes on behind the screen, I would suggest checking those out. I lead a verrry interesting life (no, not really).

Thanks for reading, friends!

Jan

The Lovely Blog Award

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Hello, friends! I am super excited, and totally honored, to tell you that I’ve been nominated for the Lovely Blog Award! As some of you have seen, I was also recently nominated for the Liebster Award, which was so great! I had seen the Lovely Blog Award floating around, given to some very deserving individuals, and now I’ve made the cut! I was nominated by the fantastic Lady CAS, who I adore entirely. I am so excited and humbled. Thanks again, Lady!

The Rules For Award Acceptance:
1. Each nominee must thank the person who nominated them (including a link to their blog).
2. List the rules, and post the blog award badge in the post.
3. Add 7 facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the Lovely Blog Award, and notify them that they have been nominated.

The official rules dictate that I tell you seven facts about myself, and I had to think hard about this one, because I’ve already posted two other posts with 30 total facts about myself, haha. After taking some time to think of a few more, here we are, and here are my seven facts!

7 Facts About Me:
1. Up until the age of 17 or 18, I hated my name. I’m still not a fan, honestly. It is spelled “Janise“, but pronounced the same as “Janice“. You’d think that would be obvious, but every teacher that I’ve ever had, from kindergarten up to my senior year, called me “Jan-EE-se“. Repeatedly. It became a running joke, but I hated it so much. I usually just go by “Jan” now.
2. I went to college in Newfoundland, Canada for one year. I was studying Psychology, which is something I have always been passionate about, but had to drop out due to financial problems. I still owe the school money, nearly 7 years later, and I have fears that I will never get to go back to school, or have a career.
3. I love Harry Potter. I can honestly say that the Harry Potter series played a huge role in shaping me into the woman that I am today, for so many reasons. Not ashamed!
4. I played the clarinet from ages 9-16. I originally wanted to play the trumpet, but my mom wouldn’t let me. I ended up being really good at the clarinet, and was selected as first chair every year. I was even specially chosen to attend several district music festivals (two of which required an audition), and was selected as first chair in all 3 music festivals, beating out over a dozen other talented clarinetists. Playing the clarinet was one of the only things that gave me a sense of pride, yet I foolishly threw it away, quitting band at the age of 16 for petty, stupid reasons. I’ve regretted it ever since.
5. I have mild social anxiety. I no longer experience anxiety attacks when in public, and have come quite a long way, but I still don’t enjoy being around other people. Family, friends, or strangers. Unfortunately, nobody seems to understand this, and often mistake my anxiety for rudeness, which only makes it worse.
6. I don’t really care for coffee, and I don’t like bacon. I decided to put these two facts into one, because they are equally addictive, and I have gotten equal amounts of hate for both. Come at me, bro.
7. I played World of Warcraft for 9ish years, but had to take a 1.5 year break when I was without a computer and internet. I came back only for a few months, after my son was born, but quit when I realized that there was absolutely nothing left for me to come back to. I’ve been drifting through the internet, alone, ever since.

Whew, that was fun! To finish off this post, I’d like to nominate the following 15 individuals for the Lovely Blog Award. I wish I could nominate everyone that I follow… but I can’t. Sorry.

My 15 Nominees For the Lovely Blog Award:
1. Jleigh
2. Supergirl2000
3. Amy
4. John Jr.
5. Gloria
6. The NYC Mom
7. Heather
8. The Flip of the Switch
9. Tessa
10. Matt
11. Accidental Hipster Mum
12. Life Beyond Mommy
13. Annette
14. Everythings Rosie and George
15. Paintbox Mum

Man, I need to follow more blogs. I apologize if this is the second or third time that any of you have been nominated, feel free not to participate if you don’t want to, I won’t be offended! I just wanted to recognize and share some fantastic blogs with you lovely folks.

I do hope that the rest of you guys accept and share! It is so nice that these awards exist, and I am so honored to have been recognized and nominated for two separate ones. They are also so fun to participate in, especially when I’ve got a little bit of writer’s block going on! Be sure to check out my fellow writer friends, and make a connection! Let’s all support each other. Thanks again, Lady CAS, for the nomination.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Daily Prompt 1/19/2016 | Can’t Stand Me

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 1/19/2016 | Can’t Stand Me

“What do you find more unbearable: watching a video of yourself, or listening to a recording of your voice? Why?”

Some of you may know this, some of you may not, but I have been on the internet for a long, long time. I used to blog regularly on sites like Open Diary and Teen Open Diary back in midle school/early high school, and then moved on to Blogger, and eventually to Tumblr and WordPress. I dabbled in blogging, short stories, and online role-playing blogs (mostly Harry Potter), before moving onto a new platform: YouTube.

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In 2009, armed with nothing more than a crappy webcam and my trusty headset, I uploaded my first video ever, which was a video response (remember those things?) to a video that Red Shirt Guy uploaded after facing criticism and ridicule for his Asperger’s Syndrome, which was brought into light during a BlizzCon panel, when he stunned the crowds, as well as the developers, by pointing out a story line flaw between the Warcraft novels and World of Warcraft game content. After my video response received over 10k views, and several hundred comments, I was inspired to make videos regularly. I began recording myself daily, talking about my day-to-day life, including fun rants about working in retail, trying new foods, talking about gaming, books, and movies, and also submitting entries for my friends Amanda’s monthly The Scrawl posts. While I had a lot of fun doing it, and built up a fan base of… well, 5 or 6 nice people, it was draining.

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I’ve never had the highest self-esteem, and putting my face out there for all the trolls of the internet to pick apart, certainly did not help. While the majority of the comments I received from viewers were quite positive, there were definitely some not-so-positive ones, and after a while, that got to me. I went to a dark place, for a really long time, and I still haven’t recovered from it.

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There’s something about putting yourself out there that makes you vulnerable. There are people stronger than me who probably could have handled it better and kept going, but I had a hard time. I eventually started moderating the comments, so that they needed approval before being posted. If people weren’t insulting my appearance, they were saying other vulgar things. You can see a few examples above.

After a while, I stopped posting videos regularly. And after a few years of this, I gave up entirely, and stopped posting videos. This was all during a time in my life where I was struggling with having moved to a new town, where I knew nobody, had no friends, had a hard time finding a job, and was in an unhealthy, controlling relationship. I felt completely alone. Before I gave up on YouTube entirely, I started dabbling in audio, specifically, podcasting. After receiving a lot of positive feedback, and realizing that it was something I enjoyed and was good at, I decided to give up on YouTube, and dove into the cold, unfamiliar waters of podcasting.

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I uploaded my first episode of Something Suggestive in February of 2012. Early on, I filled my show with World of Warcraft news, movie reviews, and a random Q&A segment. It was really awkward, and felt totally different than recording videos for YouTube. There was no camera to talk to, and I found myself needing to edit out a lot of awkward pauses and stumbles. But I eventually got the hang of it. I gained a pretty decent following on Twitter, and the outpouring of friendship and support was incredible. For the first time in a long time, I felt accepted. Like I mattered.

My show started getting bigger, and the pride that I felt whenever I checked my weekly stats was amazing. I made so many friends in the podcasting community, and was even invited to be on several other podcasts as a guest host. Some of you may not know this, but I believe that I was also the first WoW podcaster to interview a WoWHead staff member (Perculia), which was pretty amazing to me at the time. I overhauled the content of my show, made it more WoW-oriented, and introduced two amazing segments, featuring my dear friends, Rho and Marconin. Life was good.

That all ended in March of 2013, when my ex and I broke up after 4 years together, and he kicked me out of our apartment. He took back the computer that he had given me for Christmas, and I was forced to leave my old life, and most of my belongings, behind. Rho was nice enough to take over my final episode of Something Suggestive for me, which aired on April 1st, and that was that.

It has been a little under 3 years since the last episode of Something Suggestive, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss it. Podcasting was one of the only things in my life that I felt like I was good at. It helped me break out of my shell, and helped me form some amazing friendships. It also helped me deal with trolls and haters better (and believe me, there were quite a few), because I knew that I was good at what I was doing, and they were just jerks. Unfortunately, I no longer play World of Warcraft, so returning to the podcasting community seems impossible. I’ve lost contact with many of the people I once considered to be great friends. I recently picked up blogging again, which has given me a nice outlet for my creativity, as well as my frustrations, and it has made me feel a little bit better about the direction my life is going in. Kind of…

I guess, to answer the original question, I find watching old videos of myself more unbearable, mostly because I was so awkward. I had no idea what I was doing. I sometimes wish that I had stuck with it a little longer, because who knows where I would be right now! I had fun doing it, but looking back at it, I don’t think I was nearly as successful at vlogging as I was at podcasting. I have the face for radio, haha. I actually wouldn’t mind getting into radio, or some other kind of podcasting, in the future!

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Why I Chose to Leave WoW

I treated the game like it was real life, and put too much of my heart into it, as opposed to treating it like a game, and it ended up just hurting me in the end. Just like it had in the past.

This post is long. Very long. And sad. Apologies. Continue reading “Why I Chose to Leave WoW”

Supernatural Adventures In The Sims 3

So, some of you may be wondering what I have been up to, right? Well, when I’m not binge-watching show after show on Netflix, enjoying a marathon of my favorite YouTubers, or rolling around on the floor with my rowdy 7-month old son, I am usually playing The Sims 3. I love The Sims! I’ve been playing the various Sims games since I was little, and I’ve been playing The Sims 3 for… well, basically since the beginning.

Hello, friends! As many of you already know, I have been taking an extended break from World of Warcraft for quite some time now. I was really excited to get back into playing after having to wait 2 loooong years to get my internet back, but when I was finally able to log back in, things weren’t as great as I had hoped. Continue reading “Supernatural Adventures In The Sims 3”

Reincarnated… As A Shaman

When I decided to start this blog, I thought it would be simple to find time to write, but it has been a challenge. Besides caring for my little one, all I do at home all day is play WoW or the Sims (although I did just pick up crocheting recently), so you would think I’d have something to write about, right? Nope. Not really. Despite the fact that I spend the majority of my day at my computer, I feel like I’m barely playing the game, not doing anything… not doing anything with writing about really. But hey, maybe someone out there will find this interesting!

I would say that a good chunk of my time spent on WoW lately has been time playing my Shaman, which has quickly become one of my favorite classes again. I’ll always be a Hunter at heart, but she’s just SO fun. For those of you who missed my previous post, I recently transferred my very first main, a Troll Shaman named Zuljinn, from the Dethecus server to Earthen Ring. I’ve been doing this for years, but always decided against it. I enjoyed the idea of having that one character, completely original and frozen in time where I left her… but on the other hand, she was my main for nearly five years. I spent A LOT of time (and money) playing her. I have so many incredibly fond memories of my time playing her. So… I decided to take her out of retirement.

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Meet Zuljan, level 100 Troll Shaman! I hit level 100 on her last week after using my character boost to go from 70-90, and decided to try out playing as Elemental, since she was always Resto/Enhancement. It’s very different from playing my Hunter, for example, my Shaman dies. MY HUNTER NEVER DIES. Maybe I just suck? Combat on her is a lot more fun though, more buttons to press, more cooldowns to manage… my adorable elementals. Fun!

Her item level is hovering in the very low 600’s, since I hit 100 in Spires of Arak, and not Nagrand, so I missed out on some of the higher level quest rewards. She does have several pieces of crafted gear though, so that’s something! Unfortunately, between her low item level and my lack of skill, it has been very hard to do my Apexis dailies. And complete the damn Silver Proving Grounds… so no heroics either. A lot of focus on my garrison, as well as quest achievements in Draenor. It’s been a lot of fun!

I feel like I’ve completely lost interest in my Hunter since transferring my Shaman. Since I’m no longer able to raid, and all my WoW friends are… nonexistent, the only thing really for me anymore is leveling alts, farming mats, pet battling… actually, yeah, that’s pretty much all I do on my Hunter. Pet battles, farming for garrison crap… boooring.

The good news is, after hardly touching her for two and a half years, I’ve decided to finally start playing my Priest again! She will remain as shadow (healing is gross), and after playing her for just a few minutes today, I was pleased to see that shadow spec hasn’t changed at all. I miss my Priest, she was my main for a long time before I became addicted to being a Hunter. I’m not alone in this, have you SEEN how many Hunters are out there these days?
I suppose that’s it for now! I hope you enjoyed this long-winded description on what I’ve been up to this past week… it took me nearly a week to write it. In fact, I’m finishing it up from my couch, while trapped under a sleeping two month old, watching Bones… ah, this is the life… Thank you for reading, friends!

J

Returning to the World (of Warcraft)

Balancing gaming and a newborn has been tough. I already knew raiding was completely off the table for me, but I’ve been surprised at just how little I’ve been able to do while home alone with my son.

I was without internet for two years. Two. Long. Years. To some, this doesn’t seem like a big deal, but when all of your hobbies, friends, and the majority of your life exist solely on the internet, suddenly being without it is somewhat devastating. I really don’t care if you find that pathetic, that’s just how my life was.

After my ex of four years and I parted ways, I was broken, and broke. Even working full-time at my job at the time, I could barely afford rent and bills on my own, let alone luxuries. I felt completely cut off. During those two years, I was also without a phone, so I had zero contact with my friends or family. Or work. It was awful. But I’m back now. As great as it is having the internet back (I missed you, Netflix!), I feel like the last couple months have been a horrible game of trying to catch up with the world… movies, music, TV, games. I’d been so out of the loop for all long that it’s almost overwhelming now that I’m back.

Listen to me, sounding like I was held captive in a bunker or something for 15 years. Ugh. This is a little pathetic.

Anyway, I got my internet back a few weeks before my son was born in January. I decided that if I didn’t have SOMETHING to keep me sane during my maternity leave, even if it was just Netflix, I would snap. Besides, my fiance and I were both making more than enough to make ends meet, so why not? Despite my excitement, I told myself I wasn’t going to jump into my old online life, not that I didn’t want to, I just couldn’t. Everything was different. My old friends had moved on from me. My podcast was old news. No one knew who I was anymore. I felt replaced and depressed. There could be no big comeback. What was I even coming back to? I was never really a somebody, but more than ever, I felt like a nobody.

Despite my better judgement, I reinstalled WoW on my computer and reactivated my account. I guess deep down I knew I would. I decided to lay low. I had missed out on a good chunk Mists of Pandaria, as well as the launch of Warlords of Draenor, and everything felt overwhelming. There were people bragging about their 4th or 5th level 100, and their level 3 garrisons, and raiding whatever they were raiding… and here I was, logging in and standing in the middle of my FARM. Everything in my bags and bank, everything I was farming when before I was forced to quit, now completely useless.

Awesome.

On top of that, there are new games? Hearthstone? Heroes of the Storm? WTF is that?

Class changes, mounts and battle pets, raids. So much to learn. I rejoined good old AIE on my hunter, whom I had resumed playing as my main, but let my priest stand idly by. She’s still only level 90, despite the fact that my hunter has been 100 for over a month. I also recently transferred my level 70 shaman to Earthen Ring and began playing her again after five years of letting her sit unused on my old, old, OLD server. My first server. She was my first main. She is now level 98 and I’m having SO much fun playing her as elemental.

Balancing gaming and a newborn has been tough. I already knew raiding was completely off the table for me, but I’ve been surprised at just how little I’ve been able to do while home alone with my son. No PvP, no raiding, no instances at all… at least, I can’t do any of those things WELL. I spend the majority of my time in WoW doing activities that don’t require me to play with both hands, e.g. maxing Archaeology and fishing, doing my Apexis dailies, putting together killer transmog sets, farming mats, farming raid pets, etc. Even still, with him being a little over two months old, it’s been difficult to find things I can do to keep me interested in the game with him in my lap.

Thank god LFR is such a breeze that I can do it with one hand on my hunter. She actually has a pretty respectable gear score, for being on a raid team.

And please, don’t even get me started on rebooting Something Suggestive (for those of you who didn’t know me before this year, I ran a podcast for a while). Sorry to disappoint… whoever is even left to be disappointed, but it’s not going to happen. My podcast is dead. Sorry.

So, as glad as I am to be back, it has been hard for me as well. I’m enjoying myself and adjusting pretty well, but I still get overwhelmed and upset from time to time. But I guess I have plenty of time to play now that I’m a SAHM, right? I’ve also met a lot of really great people lately who have helped me more than they know. So thanks, new friends!

Woah. This post was much more depressing than intended… sorry. Thanks for reading! More to come later.

J

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