Geek Out with your Chic Out

A little over a decade ago I was an avid World of Warcraft player. If you don’t know what World of Warcraft, or WoW, is, it’s what’s known in the Geekdom as a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game, or MMORPG for short. So, WoW is an MMORPG. Got it? No? Ok, let’s slow it down…

First, what is a role playing game? No, it has nothing to do with the French maid costume you bought for that one time…oh, never mind… A role playing game is what it sounds like. You are given, or create, a role, like an actor, and you portray your character throughout a game. Remember back in the 80s when the world was freaking out over a game called Dungeons & Dragons (D&D)? You know, you heard that your neighbor’s cousin’s sister’s son was playing D&D with some shady friends and that probably meant that he was into devil worship and possibly sacrificed small animals or babies to Lucifer or something like that. This was a real thing that people worried about. Don’t laugh. Your parents were probably going through your room looking for evidence of dungeony-dragony stuff. If you were even born yet. And if you were the right age then.

Well, anyway, Dungeons & Dragons is a role playing game. It’s also a storytelling game, and today that type of storytelling has become an art form. The role playing games of yon were digitalized and given a world-wide platform on the Interwebs. World of Warcraft wasn’t the first, but to me, it still is one of the best MMORPGs. The game allows you to create a character of a new race with a specific skill set that you decide on to help you advance in the online world in which you choose a side, Alliance or Horde (aka good and evil). But in order to really be successful, you can’t do it alone. You must interact with real online people. There is a chat function in the game so you can speak with others and introduce yourself and get information, etc. You make friends and form alliances. Most often you will never meet these friends IRL (in real life, old folk), but you will continue to learn more about each other in-game and possibly out in other forums. Social media interaction does not replace social in-person interaction for most people, but for those of us who tend to lean toward the introvert side of the personality spectrum, it’s sometimes better.

So here I sit, a divorced 30-something mother of two, with a full career and busy life (that includes naps, so ok, whatever) and I am contemplating renewing my long-lapsed subscription to WoW. Because I enjoyed the escape and also the camaraderie built with others. It was easy to weed out the teenagers playing and those of us who were older with families of our own somehow gravitated toward one another in the online realms. I’m not sure how, but it was probably easy based on the more mature level of communication seen and received in the game.

I don’t know if it will be as easy today, or even as much fun as I remember, but it’s something that I know I used to love and I let it go, as many of us so often do with the things we love. But now I’m rocking a new MacBook (it’s “rose gold” – aka, pink – so a very chic machine) with the optimum specs for the game and the latest expansion, WoW: Legion, has received pretty good reviews. I’m not going to dive back in right away. I’ll probably actually wait until summer to start my new WoW adventure, but then I hope I allow myself to continue it as a pastime. Everyone deserves to geek out when they want to. And, who knows? Maybe eventually I’ll meet other geeks in real life and go old-school tabletop, a la Critical Role. (If you don’t know Geek & Sundry’s Critical Role and you claim Geek Status, you just lost a few points…at least for the gamers. Vote actors running D&D campaigns and filming it all in each campaign’s 3-5 hour glory – it’s a thing of beauty that few understand. But with 89 episodes under their belt, I’d say that it has been a successful venture, at least to Critters like myself. I may be biased.)

Am I the only one with super geek passions? Science fiction, gaming, Cons, fandoms…I have so many things to get excited about and know I’ reached full Geek when I honestly don’t care if anyone understands why or not. What’s your passion? Are you a Geek or a muggle? (Muggle passions are cool, too. I crochet, bro.) Whatever it is, I hope it makes you smile and gives you something to look forward to at least every once in a while. Because, fellow human, you deserve it.

Top Ten Gadgets I’d Love to Spend (Waste) Money On

In no particular order for the countdown, and with links to products when appropriate, please enjoy this Top Ten Tuesday post and let me know if there are any gadgets YOU want to get your hands on. Maybe I’ll add them to my growing list!

10. A Dyson Air Multiplier – Why? Well, I LIVED in Texas, where a fan is ALWAYS welcome, and now I live in Okinawa, Japan…where the humidity level is something rivaling a wet sauna in the fiery pits of an active volcano. And, have you seen these things? They look freaking cool! It’s like functional art! Why not??

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9. An Automatic Car Starter – These are more common nowadays, anyway. And, did I mention the heat and humidity with which I’ve had to deal? Having some air circulation in the car before I get in with or without my children would be great and would go a long way in helping avoid instant heat stroke upon entering the oven…I mean, car. In winter, a little head-start on the heat would be nice, too, but I’m beginning to think that winter is just a myth perpetuated by evil penguins. Okinawa has no real winter. It just gets wet and goopy and uncomfortable and even though you’ve lived in the Rocky Mountains with several feet of snow in the winter, a 60 degree day in the “winter” in Oki will make you pull out your parka and electric blanket. Acclimatizing to this sub-tropical island is no joke. Being able to start my car from my phone while I’m finishing the last bit of coffee would be very nice, indeed.

8. An Electrolux Reverse Scan Toaster – This is one of the more unusual gadgets I’ve stumbled upon while surfing the ‘Net. Think about the fun you could have with this thing! Who needs a newspaper subscription when you can save paper AND eat the toast!

7. Camera lenses to attach to my iPhone – They DO exist! Photojojo has a cool set of them for under $50. So, that’s not really wasting money, is it? I mean, they’re totally functional!

6. Taco Plates – For $8.00 as of this writing, you can own your very own set of four Fiesta Taco Plates! I mean, COME ON. Don’t you hate it when your taco falls over on your plate and all the filling falls out and you have to try to cram it back in the shell or just eat it with a fork? If I wanted to eat it with a fork, I would have made a taco salad. I want my taco shells to stand up proudly and hold my taco fillings in!

5. A Personalized Library Embosser – So maybe this is just a thing a teacher would want. Especially a reading teacher. Unless you’re really possessive of your books, and let’s be honest – you do most of your reading digitally these days, don’t you? (No shame – e-readers are supreme gadgets.) But this baby for a teacher – saves time, money, no more labeling with markers or stickers or library card pockets. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy…and you get to feel all official when making your seal, too!

4. Ostrich Ladies Comfort Lounger – It’s a beach chair, but trust me…it’s a gadget. A girly-gadget. It has a boob hole! Well, it’s not exactly a hole, but there’s a space in the chair that expands/contracts so you can lay on your stomach and not have that lovely boob smash thing going on that is often accompanied by some level of discomfort. PLUS, there’s a face hole and arm holes for stomach laying and reading, tanning, etc. It is neat0! (Look at the boob hole!)

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3. A Toothbrush Sanitizer – Let’s face it. You keep your toothbrush very close to where you take care of other hygiene and bodily functions. While the ADA recommends that you replace your toothbrush approximately every 3-4 months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed, you still don’t want to stick a germy mess in your mouth. Do you know what happens every time you flush your toilet? Let’s just say it ain’t pretty and leave it at that. Sanitizing your toothbrush daily might not be a bad habit to start. With help from one of the many automatic sanitizers on the market, it would be super easy, too. Take care of your toothbrush – take care of your teeth. Take care of your teeth and you might get to keep them well into your geriatric years.

2. A Swatch Watch – Remember the 80s? Remember the totally rad silicone watch bands that came in all kinds of cool colors and designs? Well, Swatch still makes watches and people still buy them. So why don’t I have one already? I mean, just check out their Classics for starters.

1. Altec Lansing Life Jacket 2 Floating Waterproof Speaker – It. Floats. Do I really need to explain this one more than that?!?! And really, this one isn’t even a waste of money. It could SAVE money…by ensuring that I do not drop my iPhone in the bathtub.

Bloom

What does it mean to bloom? Dictionary.com has 23 definitions for the word bloom, not counting the idioms. I’ll pick my favorite: (v) to flourish or thrive.IMG_1619

I want my children to bloom. My daughters, ages 11 and 7, are in the process of blossoming, becoming themselves, and showing the world their true colors. I worry, as a newly divorced single mother, that I won’t be able to keep their soil fertile, their roots well tended… It seems like a daunting task, doesn’t it, this parenting thing? It is something that I expected to do as a couple and then had those plans ripped away from me suddenly. Why don’t I co-parent, you ask? Well, let’s just say that I’ve had enough crazy to last me a lifetime and I’d just like to move on. I’ll parent my girls the best way I know how and he will, well, hopefully not break them. I know that sounds mean. I hope it gets better. I’ve heard stories from others that it could go either way. But, I digress…

I truly want to watch and help my daughters bloom. I want to see them grow into their personalities that are already so strong. I want to see them build their lives and succeed in all ways possible. But, I also want to bloom. I want to get my color back. I used to feel as if I was flourishing, living a life that I’d dreamed of. When you cut a flower, it dies. That’s just how it is. I’m planting new roots now and turning my face toward the sun. The best way for me to ensure that I help my children bloom is for me to be the example. So it’s almost springtime: a great time for me to focus on ways to flourish and help my girls thrive.

Mama’s Losin’ It

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