Friday, August 27, 2010

There's Always Something Good

Some people laugh at me because they frequently hear me say, "On the bright side . . ."  They say I'm too Pollyanna-ish or quixotic.  (On the bright side, they did laugh . . . when they had been worried/sad/down about something before . . .)

I think that being happy is a choice.  I can choose to be upset at things which happen, or I can choose to look at life through the rosy lens of hope, believing that things will work out for the good.  (Might take a considerable amount of effort, but nothing truly worthwhile is free.)  And so I choose to count my blessings, find the good, and play Pollyanna's "Glad Game."

The good thing about having technical difficulties with my badge printer at work is that I learn so much more about it.

The good thing about having my hair develop some wave as I've gotten older is that if I wash my hair in the morning, rather than the evening, I usually do not have to style it, and it still has bounce and body.  (At least, at this length.)

The good thing about encountering opposition when proposing ideas as a guild officer is that I learn whether I'm really operating on principle or a quitter.

The good thing about having a hard raid night, where things just don't seem to work right and the group is wiping on bosses they should be able to kill or have killed many times already is . . . (Ok, that's a tough one . . . but I'll take a stab at it.) you find out who is really dedicated to the raid.

My good things today?
  • My husband is coming home after being gone almost a week for work.  (The good thing about work travel is the homecoming . . . well, there is the job security, too.)
  • I have chocolate.  (Always a good thing, in small, dark quantities.)
  • I can be proud of my little 14-yr-old Stargirl that she joined the spirit club at school and will be doing her part tonight to sell fun little items at the first football game.  Nobody has more loyalty or more enthusiasm for a school where most of her classmates have a hard time accepting her differences.
  • The week's raiding went reasonably smoothly, considering both of our Shadowmourne wielders--one of whom is our main raid leader--are on vacation.
  • I ordered a cute little grey robotic owl to sit on the top of my laptop . . . using a gift certificate I got from completing surveys!
  • And after many days of writer's block, I've figured out something to write on this blog.

 Pollyanna had it right: look for reasons to be glad.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Little Kids Can Play WoW, Too!

The next time you run around Goldshire with a female lowbie hunter who just seems to want to explore, you might be running around with my nine-year-old.

My eldest daughter owns a WoW account.  (As she is underage, it is in her father's name, but that is allowed under the Terms of Service.)  When she is not playing, which these days happens more often than not, as she has become enamored with on-line manga, her little sisters enjoy jumping on their little characters and doing the occasional quest.

At least, that's all I thought it was . . .

One day, as I passed the computer while the little girls (ages 7 and 9) were playing WoW, I could hear them chanting, "Come on, healer, come on healer."  Then they cheered.  I looked, and lo and behold, they had just entered a random dungeon.  I blinked.  My nine-year-old was running random dungeons?

"Honey, do you know how to play this character in a dungeon?"

She looked up at me with her brilliant blue eyes.  "Oh, yes, Mom.  This is my second one today."

My jaw dropped.  For ages, I had forbidden my daughters to group with anyone I did not personally know (which made it tough, since their lowbie characters are not on the same server as my main), and here she was, running random dungeons.  But, after all, I thought, these were cross-server players she would most likely not meet again, so it would probably be no big deal, as long as she didn't annoy them to death.

Happily oblivious to Mom's intense thinking, she targeted the tank's mob and started shooting arrows, while her pet ripped away at its throat.

Then it struck me:  my nine-year-old was playing well enough to run random dungeons.  It was almost mind-boggling.

The seven-year-old does not run random dungeons, but, as she is now in third grade, she has pretty reasonable spelling skills.  I have caught her in simple conversations with other players, asking about quests and such.  If I see her talking too much with someone, I step in, type, "Sorry, I have to go.  Have fun," and get her off the computer.  After all, would the other player be nearly as interested in talking with her if they knew she was seven, into building with Legos, and reading Goosebumps?  (And, again, at the back of my mind, there is still the concern about weirdos out there who might prey upon unsuspecting children . . .)

Not too long ago, my husband went to ask the nine-year-old to log off and come to dinner.  He noticed she was chatting with another player.  As he talked with her about what had happened, he found out they had spent a good deal of time together, just running around.  This other player had followed her as she had run hither and yon, exploring this and that, and just talking, occasionally asking what they were doing.  We could not see what would move a player to do this.  Did he think she was some cute girl he could get to know later?  Was he weird, that he'd be out there in the most boring circumstances available?  Was he just bored?

As we discussed the incident (which was mildly disturbing) later on, we came up with another possibility:  maybe he, too, is only nine.

That would make more sense.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Reading the Directions

At the top of our guild application, there is a statement saying, "Make sure you have read the sticky entitled 'MUST READ *BEFORE* APPLYING.'"

Notice the all caps and the asterisks in the title of the sticky.  It's hard to miss.  In addition, this statement is set in bold and italics. (If I could have figured out how to change the font size in an edit, I would have done that, too.)

I probably should have included, "If you do not read it, I will know.  I can see inside your brain," or something like that.  I will, you know.  I will know if they read it, or at least, if they read it and paid attention to the details.

Guild officers sticky things for a reason.  This one has been there since, well, since before I applied.  It states the general attitude requirements, preparation requirements, and so forth expected of raiders in the guild, so that hopefully those who do not fit the bill will not waste our time applying.

To be completely honest, I do not expect that those who do not have a "Guild First" attitude will admit this, as it may be perceived to be in their best selfish interests to get into a guild with a good deal of ICC Heroic encounters on farm.  At least it gives the guild officers grounds to kick them later on when they show their true colors.  (This is usually not necessary, to be honest.  People who are obviously selfish tend to be either marginalized by the guild members or become bored with the normal pace of raiding and eventually leave on their own.)

The sticky which is required reading points out that raiding requires a certain amount of attention span which can be demonstrated by reading the sticky in its entirety.  I might add that it shows a willingness to pay attention to details, instead of going through life haphazardly.  Reading the sticky also demonstrates respect to the guild and the guild officers, instead of blowing off a request which, as the sticky points out, can auto-deny an applicant.

But in the time since I have started keeping track of this, only about two of the dozen or so applicants have read the sticky.

I heard this once:  "The woman who does not read is no better off than the woman who cannot read."  (Yes, it applies to you men, too . . .)  C'mon, people, read the directions . . .

Note:  I did finally figure out how to change the font size; it required actually editing the code.  Maybe people will notice it now . . . figure the odds . . .