Thursday, April 24, 2014

Non WoW: Why I think being a Disney Fairy is cooler than being a Disney Princess

In one of my general discussions with Kyxyn, we started talking about Tinkerbell.  We both have daughters of similar age, and so we often share what our girls have been doing or what has interested them lately.

The latest Tinkerbell movie, The Pirate Fairy, was released recently and we had both seen that.  Watch out, spoilers incoming! (That is, if you intend to watch this movie and I can't imagine that many people would).

Zarina is a dust keeper fairy with a thirst for knowledge - she wants to know WHY pixie dust works and why there is only blue pixie dust - why not yellow, orange, pink or purple?  She experiments with the pixie dust after being told explicitly not to, and ends up causing some major damage to Pixie Hollow. She is then relinquished of her dust keeper fairy duties and she leaves Pixie hollow to forge out her own future.

She returns a year later during a large fairy celebration, and puts everyone to sleep, and steals the blue pixie dust cache from the pixie dust tree (blue pixie dust regenerates the pixie dust tree so it can keep making pixie dust).  Tinkerbell and her friends manage to avoid somnolence and take up the chase, and Zarina evades them by throwing a rainbow of pixie dust at them, which causes them to switch their talents with some amusing results.  It turns out Zarina is working with pirates who want her to make their ship fly so they can go plunder more people.  Once she creates the pixie dust tree, she is captured by the cabin boy, who was pretending to follow her all along, who turns out to be none other than the young James Hook - the future Captain James Hook (voiced by the dreamy Tom Hiddleston).  Tinkerbell and her friends rescue and forgive Zarina and they foil Hook's plans and return to the celebration and Zarina's talents with pixie dust are recognised and applauded.

Kyxyn said that it was his favourite Tinkerbell movie yet.  I was surprised.  He said that it was much better than the first Tinkerbell, and I objected saying that I think I enjoyed the first Tinkerbell more than I enjoyed this one, though I still liked the movie and so did both my kids.

Kyxyn said that Zarina was great - she had an inquisitive mind, and a thirst for knowledge and the WHY of things, that he said it was difficult to cultivate in his students - he WISHED that his students showed more interest in the pursuit of knowledge and science, which itself is a noble thing.  I could see his point of view.

I, however, had a different view of Zarina. I didn't like what she did at the beginning because it was dangerous - she had been told specifically not to do it and yet she did it anyway.  By sheer luck, nobody was hurt.  She left and she did naughty things - stealing from the pixie dust tree - but in the end all was forgiven because she realised the error of her ways.  For Kyxyn, in his line of work, Zarina's zest and enthusiasm is something to be encouraged - in my line of work, working like that is dangerous.  I work with patients, and it is highly unethical to be experimenting on people to learn new things, even though it would give you a great deal of knowledge.  New knowledge is a great thing - but at what cost?  Brilliant research came out of Nazi Germany in areas such as hypothermia and subsequent resuscitation, but at a great cost to humanity.  So I have an aversion to people doing secret experiments that could be dangerous, and to me, this was an example of that.  But isn't it interesting how both points of view can both be right?

I do think that Disney fairies are much more inspiring than Disney princesses - because teaching kids that its cool to be a tinkerer or an engineer is way better than teaching them to be a princess (Come on, really, what do princesses teach my kids about being useful in society). And also the fairies all work!  They have different jobs, they work hard, and they work together!  And with Zarina now and her Pixie dust Alchemy - hopefully my kids will see that and think it's cool to become a scientist, and learn about theories, and experimentation and wanting to know the WHY of things!  Kristen Rutherford at Nerdist sums it up brilliantly:
"I’d rather be a pixie than a princess. Especially when the pixies are working hard, changing the world, and being sassy."
The princess mentality and culture disturbs me because I see many young girls these days whose aspirations seem to be nothing more than to find a man who will treat them like a princess and their whims will be catered for. But though that may be more the older generation Disney Princesses (Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty), the more modern princess has goals and dreams (Rapunzel, Little Mermaid) and embarks on adventures to achieve their goals - admittedly, Ariel did it to catch a prince - but if you look at Tiana from Princess and the Frog, who was an ordinary girl who dreamt of owning her own restaurant and worked very hard for her own goals, she ended up with a prince after she taught him the frivolousness of his idle ways and the value of work.  That may be why that princess story didn't end up very mainstream, because maybe people don't LIKE aspiring to work your guts out to pursue a dream! Then you have Merida in Brave, who was a willful princess, skilled with a bow and arrow, but it was a story about a mother and daughter's love for each other.  Then you have Frozen, the two princesses living an idle life of play and staying at home, but at least there was a lesson to be taught in both of these - that you don't need a man to have a happily ever after.  Some good lessons about being good to each other, but not really much about the real world.

When I say this to my husband or my brothers-in-law, they say to me "What's wrong with wanting to be a princess?  Isn't it everyone's dream to be rich and live happily ever after?"  Perhaps it's just me, but I'm too working class - I feel like the best reward are the ones you earned, rather than the ones that are given to you. I value things that I've worked towards, because sometimes the reward is in the journey, rather than the destination itself. And perhaps, that is why fairies are better role models to me because they work hard, see the fruits of their labour, and yet they still have plenty of time for play, adventures and fun.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Bedtime Story Strats - Garrosh Hellscream

"Do you want me to tell you about how we beat Garrosh Hellscream?" I asked my daughter.

"Who's Garrosh Hellscream?"

"He was our leader, but he became bad, so we had to go fight him."

"Why did he go bad?"

"He got greedy and wanted to be stronger and stronger and even did bad things to people just so he could be a super strong leader, and that's bad."

"But you said that it was good to try harder."

"But he wasn't good... well actually he was trying hard, BUT he did bad things to get there.  You're not supposed to do bad things to become good at something.  Just like you're not supposed to cheat when you play a game just to win.  That's not fair.  You have to always play fair - you wouldn't like it if the other person cheated to win would you?"


"OK, so let me tell you this story - because beating Garrosh was REALLY REALLY hard."


Thrall, our old leader, came with us to talk to Garrosh.  He wanted to try to talk some sense into Garrosh, because they used to be friends.  If he could talk to Garrosh and Garrosh could stop being bad, then we wouldn't have to fight him.

"But if you don't fight him, there won't be a story," said my daughter.

"If you can avoid any fight, then you should try. Fighting is only what you do when you can't do anything else. You should always try talking first."

Thrall came in and started talking to Garrosh. He told him that it wasn't too late to change and be good, just give up now.  But Garrosh thought Thrall was being a wuss.

"What's a wuss?" asked my daughter.

I screwed up my nose.  "Umm, well being a wuss means you're being a coward, it means you're scared and you're not brave."

"Why did Garrosh say that?"

"Because Thrall didn't want to fight with Garrosh and Garrosh likes fighting.  Garrosh thinks that if you don't fight it means you're scared and that you're a wuss.  But just because you don't want to fight doesn't mean you're a wuss.  Sometimes you want to fight, but you know it's braver not to, because fighting isn't right, because people can get hurt."

Thrall got mad at Garrosh for calling him a wuss and tried to use magic to stop Garrosh, but Garrosh had so many bad shaman helping him, that Thrall couldn't use his magic to talk to the wind, fire and earth.

"A shaman like Aunty Luxy?  Is she bad?"

"No, it was like a bad version of Aunty Luxy.  Thrall is like Aunty Luxy, he uses magic, and totems, and makes lightning on people.  But Garrosh's bad shaman army made it so he was not able to use his magic, and so Thrall went to hit Garrosh with his hammer, but Garrosh has a really big sword!  He hit Thrall really really hard and Thrall got hurt really r eallybad.  So, Thrall told us to go fight Garrosh for him."

"Thrall has a hammer?  Like Thor?"

I laughed.  "Yes, Thrall is like Thor!  He makes lightning and uses a hammer!"

Garrosh was standing on his throne, and his throne room was very very big!  He had two big spiky wheels on both sides of his room, which hurt a lot when they rolled across the floor.  There was an orc called an engineer who would wind it up and then roll it onto us, so if you kill those engineers, they can't make the big wheels come out.  We usually make the hunters go and kill it and they often make funny mistakes!

"What kind of funny mistakes?"

"Well, the hunters we play with do funny things.  One time Nath was supposed to do it, and he said he would do it, but when the time came to do it, he forgot, and both wheels came out and squashed us and we died. Another time, Alariantha was supposed to do it, and he didn't kill the engineer fast enough but he didn't tell us!  He just said "Oh, you might have to dodge this wheel," and everyone was wondering what he was talking about, until both wheels came out and everyone died and mummy laughed because Ala didn't know that it was going to kill us if both wheels rolled on top of us.  Only Aunty Luxy has killed the wheel properly on the first time I saw her do it.  But we still have one wheel come out and squash us a little bit, because it not only squashes us, it squashes the baddies too, and Garrosh has lots of soldiers come help him fight and one wheel will kill them but it won't kill us - not unless you're a bit silly like Uncle Asys was one time and stood right underneath the wheel and got totally squashed and died.

Garrosh also throws his axe at us, and when it lands on the ground it makes a big puddle of magic appear that burns your feet, and if you hit the axe and break it, the puddle gets smaller and goes away.  When we first did it we used to run away from it, but now we all stand in it and Mummy and Uncle Morz just heal everyone when it hurts them.

"Why don't you run away anymore?"

"Because people who are running around can't hit Garrosh or the axe or anything, but if they stand still they can hit things.  Uncle Owl was like that, he hates moving when he plays his chicken. It's a bit lazy, but it's ok, it just means Mummy and Uncle Morz have to do extra work healing."

After a while, Garrosh's health got low and then he took us to his dreams.  He has a few different dreams and in all of them we have to kill big or little shas, and then we have to hit Garrosh.  He yells "DESTRUCTION!" a lot, and he hits people in front of him with a big purple ouchie which will kill you so when he yells "DESTRUCTION" you have to run to his back so he can't hit you.  But he turns around all the time and yells all the time, so you spend a lot of time running around.  He does that for about 1 or 2 minutes and then we go back to the real world, but when you hurt Garrosh in his dreams, it hurts him in the real world too.

When we come back to the real world, Garrosh started doing something different -  mind controls - which meant he made you do bad things to your friends.  To make him stop doing that, you have to hit your friends who got mind controlled until their health gets low and then they will go back to normal again.  When we were learning, Uncle Aza kept forgetting that he shouldn't use his big spells like chaosbolt on people because sometimes he KILLED them instead of getting their health low.

"That's a bit mean, isn't it mummy?"

"He forgot, that's all.  He doesn't do it anymore, I think.  He hasn't killed anyone for ages."

"But why did he have to hit them so hard?"

"Uncle Aza just likes hitting things hard, and you want to hurry and get their health low otherwise they hurt you instead."

"But can't he use some softer spells?"

"He does now.  Some of the other people are annoying sometimes and use sticky spells which stick to you for a while and hurt you every second, and it still hurts them after they aren't mind controlled anymore, and that really annoys mummy because she has to waste time cleaning it off."

"Like Uncle Sev's spells?"

"Yes, just like that.  But Uncle Sev knows not to use his sticky spells on people because Mummy will yell at him."

Garrosh was still throwing his axe around, but the other new thing he did was spin around and throw whirling magic (called whirling corruption) everywhere, which hurt everyone in the room.  That wasn't so bad, because it just meant people had to stand together so they could get healed.  After he did a few mind controls and a few whirling corruptions, we went back to his dream again and everyone tried not to get hit by the DESTRUCTION purple stuff.

When we came out of his dream, Garrosh had gotten stronger.  His whirling corruptions now became EMPOWERED whirling corruptions and they hurt SO MUCH that Mummy and Uncle Morz had to use our special healing spells or else people would die! Mummy used her healing stars and Uncle Morz put bubbles everywhere.  This empowered whirling corruption also made lots of little sha came out and started following us around, and Uncle HK and Uncle KyXyn said not to kill them next to each other because if they died next to another sha, it would make that sha stronger and it would hurt more.  They also had to fight hard to live too, because Garrosh put a Despairs on them which hurt them a lot, and so they had to take turns hitting Garrosh because the Despair would kill them if they got too much on them.Everyone was supposed to take their Sha away and kill it so it somewhere by itself.  Garrosh was STILL doing his mind controls - he controlled Uncle Aza a few times and we had it hit him super fast because he was yelling "I'm CASTING!" and we had to kill him till his health was low so that he wouldn't cast anymore.

"What does casting mean?"

"If Uncle Aza is casting his spell, that means he'll make someone ELSE mind controlled which means they will be killing us instead of killing Garrosh."

Eventually Garrosh's health went down to 10% and suddenly we got a surprise! He turned big and purple and ugly and lumpy  and he got a little bit of health back.  We now had to kill him superfast - and break the people out of their mind controls because we couldn't interrupt them anymore so you had to kill them till they're almost dead to make them not have any more mind control.  Uncle Kyxyn now had to keep Garrosh attacking him all the time while Uncle HK grabbed all the sha's that he could so that everyone was free to hit Garrosh.

Aunty Luxy cast bloodlust, which made us move super quick so we could cast lots of spells and hit Garrosh more times (and make mummy and Uncle Morz heal faster) and soon yay!  Garrosh was dead and we got to get some of his big treasure!

"Did you get any?"

"I didn't get it that time, but on one of the other times we killed Garrosh I got something!  Uncle Aza got a big weapon to give to his demon to use, Uncle Sev had gotten a trinket which made his spells stronger, and Uncle KyXyn got something pretty hat to wear.  Aunty Luxy even got a special weapon that she can use when the new World of warcraft comes! Oh and guess what we all got as well?"



My daughter put her finger to her chin as she pondered.  "Did you get... a sword?"

"Mummy doesn't use swords."

"Is it a.... dragon?"

"No, but it's cool like a dragon!"

"I give up."  My daughter gives up too easily. Lazy little thing :P

"We all got new wolves to ride!"

"What colour was it?"

"Brown I think."

My daughter rubbed my hand.  "I wish you could get pink wolves to ride.  That would be really nice, don't you think?"

I smothered a smile.  "I think Uncle Sev would think that would be a WONDERFUL thing to ride!"

Blizzcon 2014 announced - but I'll have to pass this year!

Earlier today Blizz announced that Blizzcon 2014 will be on November 7 and 8.  Though I had a fantastic time last year, I don't want to go this year because it's too close - I probably need at least 2-3 years between Blizzcons to keep the magic, I think!

Ticket prices have gone up!  $200 a ticket now, which is a jump from last year's tickets price of $175, but I am sure it will still be a sellout as it has been every other Blizzcon.  However, I am thinking, that with Blizzcon in November, I very much doubt that that Warlords of Draenor will be released before then as they will be having a lot of stuff to do to get ready for Blizzcon.

I feel bad for all those people who missed out on Blizzcon tickets last time - I wish that Blizz would let some people who missed out last time be able to get tickets this time - perhaps they could track it through your battle net accout or something and give some priority to those who didn't get tickets before.

I wonder what will be in the goody bag this year?  Another murloc pet or will it be a murloc on a mount this time?  Hmm, I am thinking we need a Murloc warlord so maybe a murloc with Garrosh's shoulders? MURSCREAM!!!

So this year, virtual ticket for me!  Looks like I'd better set that weekend aside so I can watch the streams and stay up late and catch up on all the gossip that comes out of Blizzcon.  Anyone going to Blizzcon 2014? Good luck in getting your tickets and may the REFRESH be with you!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Raiding - Lots of chocolate but not lots of raiders

Easter is a bad time to be raiding. People are away, people have family commitments, people are out partying (in my old age, I find it odd to be imbibing excessively over Easter) and so that means there are less people out there to raid WITH.

And then you have the more unusual excuses, which I think are cool.  Nath was having a busy work week because, as a baker, he spent all week getting up early making hot cross buns and he hated the damned things.  I told him to send them all my way... but that didn't help the raiding situation much.

So we had 9 for raid on Wednesday, and Jazz asked if she could sit out and so I tried to make it work by pugging in Medio to help on his paladin, from Blackrock. Jazz said she would come if needed but she would rather not go without Nath, but I know they like to raid together, so I let her have the day off.  However, since Morz was busy having a hot date on Thursday, he wasn't going to be raiding, so I asked if she could be there for Thursday and she said she would.

We struggled on Sha this week and Asys was having issues with Vent, being unable to hear us call for lust (we ended up having to use drums because Luxy was dead, I think).  He logged because he felt bad about me having to talk to hm about it on Thursday, but fortunately Nath said he would come and help!  So we had Nath for the rest of the night and that finished off our heroics, but it meant we were really behind - we only got to Dark Shaman by the end of the Thursday night!

On Monday I thought we had our joint raid but come 830pm only 4 Scion members were on, and didn't look like any of them were raiders, and we ourselves only had 4 people on, so we ended up just doing normal 10 mans.  We didn't do too badly, considering we had 4 non regular raiders in the group (Tacky, Dragonray, Lominari and Alariantha).  Poor Tacky had to swap out from Thok because I wasn't good enough to be able to 2 heal with him, and we at least got to Garrosh but we only had time for one attempt.

Ala hadn't done normal before and so he died when Malkorok did his Breath of Y'shaarj and he stood in it. But he got the hint real fast after that! Lom got a heroic warforged helm upgrade, which was pretty cool.  I think Exray picked up tons of offspec stuff and unwanted Tier pieces.

Flex on Saturday was also a little on the short side, but we did manage to get Garrosh down, and Crooked got a Flex Garrosh kill was pretty cool.  Putress picked up ANOTHER heirloom!  That's two in two weeks!

But raiding feels a little stagnant lately.  I'm itching to try a new boss kill - if Asys doesn't want to try healing Iron Juggernaut this week, maybe me and Morz can try it with Medio healing on his paladin to give us a 3rd solid healer to play with.  If not, perhaps we can bash at Nazgrim again.  Fingers crossed for a good raid turnout next week!