Sunday, November 28, 2010

Camping Loque’nahak: Day 8, and another hunter got him

WoWScrnShot_112810_150611 Yesterday, before I prepared to go to Mill Ave, I had to take a shower—otherwise I would be an extremely stinky royal out in my domain—and while I was purifying my body, Loque’nahak spawned in my camp spot and another hunter picked him up.


The good news? The hunter who picked him up happened to be Grumplepuss, aided by his kaywngstiad MaidenTaiwan, who have been helping me find the spirit beast as well. In fact, they tried to see if I was online first—as I wasn’t—and then tamed the critter. At least I am very happy that they cat didn’t go to waste, even if I failed to tame him myself.

The worst part of this is that the kitty spawned in my camp spot during the 20 minutes I was out to take a shower.

Talk about the worst of the bad fortunes.

Still, I’d like to thank Grumplepuss and MaidenTaiwan (Thunderhorn) for their help so far. I’m not going to be able to keep this up without some sort of help.

Mill Avenue Nights: Saturday, November 27th 2010

Once again winter closes its grip around the valley, dropping temperatures into the 50s. On the same night as the Festival of Lights parade leaving behind interesting trashcans and a slightly smaller presence of people on the Ave.

Certainly the temperature has a little to do with this.

Upon arrival, I got a little bit of interview time in with some buskers and some of the usual street rats who had stories to tell. In particular, a pair that I love seeing outside of Hippy Gypsy who wished us well and warmth.

I made it out there and discovered the street preachers out and about. Marcus and his sister had taken up on the corner with the Post Office as well as Al and his crew. I meant to get an interview with him as well, but it felt so cold I felt it would be necessary to close up the night a little earlier.

I also had a chance to speak with a part-Welsh (ethnically) woman named Winifred. The conversation ran the lot about languages, history, linguistics, paganism, and anthropology.

I have very little in the way of notes. (The temperature fell so far that my fingers ached from it.)

Crystal also made the street.

The Mill Avenue Resistance did not make a show. As usual for this year the drum circle remained empty and dark, the melancholy of the vacant space still calls out to me. I hope some day soon it will be filled once again with the sounds of hands on music.

Not too much to report again.

No photos, only footprints and red bricks.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Camping Loque'nahak: Day 5 and King Krush

I've been camping the kitty-who-swallowed-a-willowisp (I don't know why he swallowed a willowisp, perhaps he'll die). I've been trying to do this from 9am until 2am, or whatever times of day I can possibly stay up. The spot I've chosen in the easternmost spawn points in Sholazar Basin where the gorillas gather.

Well, today I was sitting around minding my own business when NpcScan went off. I looked eagerly down and noticed it had triggered on King Krush—a huge, green Tyrannosaurus rex who happens to also be a rare spawn in the region. I don't really care for the dinosaur.

However, he is a rare, so I figured: Sure, whatever.

I flittered off down past the wasp hive, spotted the dinosaur stomping his way blithely through the swampy ground. Landed, set down my trap, and hit tame.

The big guy went straight through my trap and whomped me with a fearbomb. As I ran, I waited for it to wear off with the big green dino on my tail. I quickly recovered, hit tame again, and waited. He hollered liked a giant, pissed-off elephant as hearts appeared over his head. As the hearts flew, he slashed chunks out of my health with his colossal flesh rending teeth.

At about 2% heath, he tamed.

My kaywngstiad suggests that I rename him: Killasaurus.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Shattering

WoWScrnShot_112210_165826 Now that The Shattering is upon us, I have still been working out various in-game reporting for The Green Dragon Inn. Azeroth has gone through some strange events lately in the prelude to Cataclysm.

Come along and keep up with me!

Cataclysm Elemental Invasion: Papers Please. When Orgrimmar became a post 9-11 wasteland, our reporter came to the scene to watch Blood Gaurd orcs frisking incomers. Those who were found to be holding cultist paraphernalia or literature were immediately arrested. Also, oddly, numerous cultists had set up around the city trying to open rifts into the elemental planes.

Cataclysm Elemental Invasion: Under Attack! Giant elementals have been emerging in the city themselves assaulting citizens and heroes alike! They have been trapping people in elemental prisons and the cities have gone into lockdown. Orgrimmar has been set aflame as fire and earth elemental manifestations stomp through the streets and the population flees out the gates; Thunder Bluff hunches underneath peals of thunder and glittering claws of lightning as water and air elementals harass and zap the unwary.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mill Avenue Nights: Saturday, November 20th 2010

The Ave felt pretty dead.

All things being considered, it had become quite cold over the past few days and that perhaps chased people into their homes and away from the red bricks.

The crowds had dwindled down to a trickle of people passing through the intersections.

I tarried only an hour on Mill, bought a soda from The Thirsty Dog, greeted everyone I could, and then headed back home again.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mill Avenue Nights: Saturday, November 13th 2010

Mill Avenue had a strange visit today from a belligerent set of street preachers led by Ruben Israel.

Ruben Israel 016 Amid his group, Israel brought five extremely well-girthed men, five large plastic signs, and one bullhorn. They stopped in front of the popular Mill Ave bar the Mill Cue Club—a place where other preachers have done a similar thing—the major exception, however, is that Israel’s crew are actively abrasive. The men with Israel used a particular tactic of insulting first and then asking questions later, they would pick elements on a persons clothing, their attitude, or racial features and throw epithets and slurs to gain attention.

Marcus Mattingly, one of the proper Mill Ave Christian street preachers, describes Ruben Israel as a heretic and people shouldn’t listen to him anyway. The presence of the new preachers and their signs did not affect the major Mill Ave preachers at all. The crowds did start to clutter around the Mill Cue Club, but it didn’t draw attention from the street preachers nor did it cause them any frustration. Other than a few shrugged shoulders and rolled eyes, thus was the entirety of Israel’s impact.

The Mill Avenue Resistance, in the persons of Gadfly and Kazz, quit their usual position protesting the usual street preachers and moved next to Israel and his crew in front of the Mill Cue Club.

Instead of putting up any sort of rational discussion or civil conversation, Israel and his posse only spat back insults and vituperations. Responses consisted primarily of non sequitur nonsense, abuse, racial slurs, and political insults. Gadfly brought the brunt of the attacks with her femininity being called into question and other hyper-misogynistic speech. Kazz was met with name-calling about his appearance every time he spoke, being called a hippy and branded as effeminate. These men obviously have massive problems with women—it certainly explains why there wasn’t a single woman among them.

Ruben Israel 006 “Please don’t put that girl on again,” whined one of the preachers over his bullhorn. “She’s annoying.”

Passersby also absorbed some abuse from them as they tried to shout over the noise from within the bar.

Mostly they would stop random people and call them “gay” as if that were actually an insult.

When I attempted to stop Rube Israel himself to ask him who he was with and what they were doing he chose to insult me ineffectually. At one point he called me out for not being able to read his sign even though I wear spectacles (wouldn’t that be why I’m wearing spectacles?) The address of his web page, whilst visible on the signs, was printed over the point where the pole inserts into the sign itself and thus made it difficult to make out. He also casually claimed that I was a Satanist. Not that I am, nor is that really much of an insult either, but he used it with the same role as their attention grabbing insults.

There wasn’t much of any substance to Ruben Israel’s circus act.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Cataclysm Elemental Invasion Warcraft Reporter

spearmintlisteningscree I’ve gotten a writing gig with Green Dragon Inn to do reporting on happenings on the Horde side of Azeroth—if there’s anyone who is familiar with my Around Azeroth reporting, it’s similar to that—so far I’ve written two articles for them, so I’d like to send people over to check them out.

They’ve also got an excellent podcast.

Cataclysm Elemental Invasion: The Cult in Azeroth. There's a strange cult spreading around town, in this case Orgrimmar, that I'd like everyone to meet. They appear to be an extension of the Twilight's Hammer, doomsaying and preaching end times dogma for all to hear. Except what you'll find surprising is who they're working for.

Cataclysm Elemental Invasion: The Elements Agitated. In this one our intrepid reporter becomes a one woman broom and dustbin service for the street of Orgrimmar and singlehandedly fights off a dragon. Well, not really, but read up and you'll see how that goes. Do I smell ash?

Monday, November 01, 2010

Mill Ave encounter with The Door on Hallowse’en

Mill Ave Halloween 007

This post entails an anecdotal narrative about an experience on Mill Ave, Hallowse’en 2010, involving a Christian congregation called The Door. There have been previous problems with them and their behavior on Mill Ave; but this year they managed to comport themselves mildly and without too much friction.

The first man to approach us from The Door zeroed in on me and immediately said, "I just wanted to let you know that Jesus loves you." He said this over-and-over as if I were failing the proper social reply. He was a small Latino man, the orbits of his eyes set further apart than is normal, but his face appeared round that gave him a sort of intense effect. He'd cropped his dark hair short against his skull and wore jeans and a collared shirt. I never even got his name during the entire discussion, but I did attempt to steer the conversation away from culture shock, but he felt rather committed to the hard sell.

"Thank you," I said, thinking that the "Jesus loves you," meme is generally a sort of blessing that Christians use (especially this evangelical type) to connect with the other person; however, that didn't do it for him. He quickly went on into his mirror speech, something that probably fits the jargon term "witness statement." Such as cliché to these statements he starts talking about how he used to live a self-destructive life, he did drugs (marijuana), drank alcohol, and partied all the time. And, now that's all changed.

Ostensively he would have attributed this change to his conversion to a particular religion. I am not certain what sect of Christianity that the Door belongs to, but it's probably theirs he would espouse.

His mirror speech followed script extremely well as he passed onto the question, "If you were to die, where would you go right now?"

And, as I like to work from Celtic mythology, as is my heritage, I said, "Well, the Otherworld."

He immediately went on to talk about Christian mythology, including about how they propose that when people die they'll be judged and then be sent to one of two places: Heaven or Hell. Here his mirror speech failed him for a moment as he ran into someone to whom these two terms create a sense of culture shock. So he attempted one of the worst metaphors I have ever heard on the subject,

"What do you see right there? In the street," he asks. Well, it's a street and it has cars driving in it. "What would happen if you tried to drive the wrong way down that street?" Well, you'd collide head on into another car. "After you die there's only two directions you can go."

That's not what the rest of the world thinks and it's certainly not related to any knowable reality (i.e. Heaven, Hell, the Otherworld, Xibalba, etc. aren't demonstrable so pretending they are is just stupid.) So I said, "No they're not..." I didn't get a chance to go on that every culture that has ever lived as invented itself afterlives of different sorts, from heavens, to hells, to happy hunting grounds, to the dwelling abode of the gods. There are near infinite and myriad answers to that question and not a single one of them can be tested (although some of them are logically absurd) so I have no reason to accept his assertion over any other.

Then he said something actually interesting and mentioned that The Door had a visiting preacher who had gone to Romania. I asked if the preacher himself was Romanian, no he wasn't, but his wife was.

Anyone who doesn't know, but there's a famous critter on YouTUBE, ZOMGitsCriss who also lives in Romania. So I'd be interested to see what she thinks about some of these subjects, but I have no reason to bother her.

Finally, our conversation ended when said missionary from Romania appeared.

He was a large man, almost taller than me—in fact loomed over me because I stood in the street and he stood up on the curb--square spectacles, broad shoulders bearing a plaid shirt, and dress slacks. His hair, dark from its appearance, buzz cut into a flat top. He carried with him a Bible that his hands dwarfed and introduced himself as John. When he spoke he delivered his mildly accented Midwestern words with a cheerful bombast that grew on his face and I could hear the slight pull of another language in some of his words (knowing that Romanian is a Romance language gave me some insight into some of the pronunciation changes, but I could have been supplying that through my own bias.) In all, John's ability to cover a full range of language and answer questions made him an interesting foil to the Latino man who had originally approached me.

I should point out that because he's a visiting missionary he's not connected to The Door or their cultish behavior directly and he's probably using them to help score himself money for his missions in Romania. This would readily explain why it felt like a totally different level of discussion talking to him rather than the Latino man who never gave me his name.

250px-BOR_CoA His experience in and of Romania really intrigued me. He mentions that Romania is primarily Eastern Orthodox (probably under the auspices of the Romanian Orthodox Church, Wikipedia gives the stat as 87%.) If John is working with The Door, I suspect this means that his sect is Protestant, which means that he'll face a certain amount of resistance from the local culture. He mentioned also that he had three mission churches erected in Romania—specifically in the Transylvania section, a huge chunk of the north western region.

He also went on to say that treatment of women in Romania is next to the most ugly, citing that they're second highest in the world for lack of women's rights; also that Romania is second highest in the world for abortions. He mentions there is no 911 service and that he continually hears crying and weeping where he lives in a multistory apartment building of women and children pleading not to be beaten. (I have no way of verifying these anecdotes or statistics, so I invite Romanian citizens and scholars to opine.)

I enjoyed speaking to him, but didn't get a chance for a full interview of his experience. He had to leave too early for that.

Welcome to Mill Ave, John. Just, next time choose a better congregation to spend time with.