Category Archives: Rambly Me

GW2 pre-purchase ponderings

So there it is at last, lying on my desk. Things are getting more tangible. A white sober DVD case – nothing fancy. Very under-statement. It’s shockingly empty inside, just a card with a serial key telling me to go online and register. Not sure why it comes with the standard case at all, staring at me with a naked eye but there you go. Beta weekends, three days headstart is all I need to know. First time I ever paid for an MMO that doesn’t even have an official release date yet. How odd! But then, I didn’t know either how great the LotR movies were gonna be when I bought out two complete theater rows for the EU premieres several weeks in advance (every year!). I knew my friends were going to be there though; that tends to have a reliably positive effect on one’s enjoyment. There’s also an oddly lackluster trailer full of old footage. For once the goons on youtube got it right. Not that anyone cared.

On the beta weekends

Some players stay away from the beta for spoiler reasons but I’m way past that stage. Not sure what I could possibly spoil at this point; the game is as overdue as a Swedish bus and I just want to FINALLY see something for myself. The only thing the WoW beta did for me was confirming what I already suspected, along with exclamations of “omg I want moar of this!”. I can’t wait for end of April now. I’ve watched too many videos by other people. As for bugs – bugs don’t bug me. There’s something strangely nostalgic about them.

On playing GW1

I’ve wondered briefly whether to follow other players in giving the first title a go. There’s the wait time until release and it might not be the worst idea to have a quick look at GW1. Not sure what it can truly teach me though – aren’t the dissimilarities going to be a lot bigger than anything? I’m still undecided whether I should really expose my eyes to this ancient predecessor. Feels more like spoiling for no good reason to me. The real deal is still out there and in desperate need of an ETA.

Time to part

As I worry about my dated PC specifications a little (will I be able to play in PvP battles of 300 people with a “WoW machine?”), it’s definitely time to pull the plug on an old love. Disc space is running low and it feels strangely well timed: good-bye WoW, time to uninstall. It was fun for a very long time, thanks! I’ll keep the screenshots folder. May GW2 be worthy of your passing. May it bring us new stories and epic memories.

We are waiting. (And definitely prepared!)

P.S. Priest T5 and Anathema forever in our hearts!

Why I don’t play SWTOR

I’ve been struggling a bit lately with the fact that I’m not playing SWTOR, while most bloggers I read are currently somewhere up in space. Let me explain. Besides the obvious thing, that this is a general MMO blog where I usually stay up-to-date with all major releases, I really like trying new MMOs. I certainly haven’t played every game in existence, but with the exception of Aion or LotRO, I’ve dipped my toe into most major titles that have come out the past 7 years. When times are quiet, I will even go back in time and try out older games just to get first-hand impressions. I like to know what I’m talking about. I also really love newbie level.

So, why not SWTOR then? Surely the game qualifies as “major title” – it comes with a big name, history and team behind it. You can expect a high level of technical polish and crowded servers. It appears that after some initial sign-up and subscription gripes, most players are content for the moment, few audio or UI issues aside. I don’t care for small complications like that – although I really think a flawless launch without server crashes and queues should be a standard these days (kudos to Trion here).

Yet – I can’t overcome my skepticism. I blame it on not enough time available, but that’s rarely the truth. A few things just bug me about SWTOR, have always bugged me ever since the early previews – to the point of remaining turned off despite reading more enthusiastic reviews of late. Even the ever-critic Nils calls it “worth 50euros for anyone into RPGs or MMOs” and Shintar has opened a brand new blog dedicated to SWTOR. So what’s my problem? And will I be able to change my mind yet?

Judge for yourself, maybe from more first-hand experience. Here are my major SWTOR “bias”:

  • SWTOR looks horrid. Okay, let me re-phrase this: it looks incredibly dated. I’m not as single-minded that graphics are all I care about in an MMO, but I DO expect a title launched in 2011 to look considerably better than WoW. It doesn’t have to be the world’s greatest render-job, but Rift’s graphics are what I consider the minimum; its graphical polish, the atmosphere, the variety and “life” in your environment, the flora and fauna. Elaborate effects for shading, wind, fire and water. I’ve checked out plenty of SWTOR footage and screenshots since its launch and it’s just not there – the landscapes look sterile and dead, some textures remind you of the clone stamp tool in Photoshop. The cities are impressive, but anything remotely “organic” falls short. If I compare desert shots from Tatooine with desert scenarios I’ve recently played through in Uncharted or Fable 3….not good. I get it – we’re in outer space, scale and distances are vast, so you’re bound to see more boring, empty spaces. Still: really???
  • SWTOR is Sci-fi; this too needs some explanation: I like the Star Wars franchise, I love the old movie trilogy. But the Star Wars films, as is widely agreed on, are in fact more “fantasy than sci-fi”. The story of Luke Skywalker, his quest to master the Force, overthrow the Galactic Empire, destroy the Deathstar and discovering his true identity in the process, could just as well have been staged in a traditional medieval or sword&sorcery setting. This is also why many fantasy fans still dig SW, when they would never watch Star Trek or Babylon 5. To me, SW is fantasy with light sabers – no issues there. SWTOR on the other hand, does not benefit exclusively from story appeal. It’s an MMO, which means it relies on different factors to create lasting player enjoyment. Being the protagonist in this tale, the deviating settings, the combat, the weapons & technology, the space-ships etc. all impact on my first-hand experience. And I personally really prefer sword&sorcery based MMOs, I can’t help that.
  • SWTOR appeals to single-players; I’ve actually been told a couple of times now, that this isn’t “necessarily true”. I get it, you CAN always group up if you like to – that is as much a consolation to me as it was in WoW, to be honest. If part of SWTOR’s appeal is what Tobold compared to the “Tortage effect”, I worry about the game’s longterm appeal and community. I’m not sure I need to play SWTOR just to soloplay through the main storyline and send around NPC companions (which I already eye with worry as it is). Another point that’s worrying me in terms of cooperation is that combat is apparently slow and umm boring, but then it seems most players agree that SWTOR brings little new compared to WoW there, anyway.
  • SWTOR and Electronic Arts; this is maybe a minor gripe, but for me it adds to the rest. Sure, EA did bring us titles like the Sims, Battlefield or Dragon Age in the past years, but some of the recent publicity the publisher caused left me with a very bitter aftertaste. Notably the Origin debacle at Battlefield 3 launch or their ridiculous BF3 forum policy argument. Intransparent personal data security in EULAs or phony player censorship doesn’t exactly warm me towards trusting EA or any company for that matter (hello Blizzard RealID debacle). Our BF3 pre-order was canceled over this – in the end it’s a matter of principle. How far are you willing to compromise (and compromise yourself literally) just to play online games? Needless to say, posts like this one don’t improve matters for me.

There you have it, all my negativity. Yet the thing is, I’m not putting it out here to rant – I would like to like SWTOR and give it a chance. There’s frankly not much else around for a while. There are features that interest me about the game: classes, multi-mob combat, difficulty level, just to name a few. I could also imagine that the sheer scale of the settings would greatly satisfy the exploration junkie in me (and traveling between different planets is kinda win).

I don’t know. For the moment I just can’t bring myself to overcome my gripes and enter my CC details to try out a game I might only play for 5 days. Am I wrong – am I right? You tell me. Maybe someone will yet be able to dispel my SWTOR doubts…Until then, the inner battle continues.

A call for MMO missionaries. Or not.

There’s a particular breed of people I am very weary of. Not scared in a jumping-ship kind of way, but more like “Uh oh…” as I see them approach or worse, join conversation in a social circle I happen to find myself in. Call me biased; but to be completely free of pre-judice is to never learn from experience.

Whenever a sporty person approaches, I am on guard. You can usually tell from the way they are dressed in forceful business casual, their ever-glossy forehead or intolerably energized gait. Not to mention the well-trained shoulders and legs, of course. But before you get the wrong idea – I am all for physical exercise. Indeed, I am making conscious, well-loathed but conscious efforts to stay fit as I am growing older. I am also dreaming of the day that VR helmet and fullbody motion-sensor suit finally arrive, so I can plug them to my PC and play MMOs while having to go through mindbogglingly boring workout routines. If anyone ever tells you they enjoy their workout: be weary. Be very weary.

I am not talking fit people here, but sporty sporty. The ones that will always inevitably steer the conversation to their favorite subject. The ones who have “seen the light” and really think you should too as you receive their well-meant, unasked for dieting tips. You don’t want to be around them, you don’t want them in your clique – they’ll make you walk instead of taking the bus to the bar or bring raw carrots to a movies night. No, I don’t think we mix particularly well, MMO players and sporty people. And I’m not in any way suggesting the ‘overweight, asocial slob’-image here some media are eager to spread about video-gamers. But err….we invented the WoW treadmill, okay? You get my point.

So anyway, there is that 37ish co-worker of mine who fits the profile perfectly. She’s recently been pregnant and ever since (1 year ago now) she’s been talking about her workout, losing baby-fat and how it took her nine months to lose the dreaded last four pounds. She is also thin as a stick, but now she finally radiates inner peace (and cravings for mars bars). Fortunately, she is rarely in the office when I am and I am rarely joining the “lunch faction” that meets up around the kitchen table every day at 13.00.

Only last Friday…I did. It started out innocently, with a chat between myself and my British co-worker who usually works in London and is the only other person with a sense of humor (figures) in the entire company. I was just having a coffee with her, when sporty person came in to join us. Too late to plan for a quick escape route. Rats.

It took exactly 5 minutes for our conversation to go from holiday plans to running shoes. I have since been trying to reproduce the exact order of events but have failed miserably, twice. I don’t know how she worked “so, what brand of sports shoes are you using for running?” into our talk on bed&breakfasts and English cuisine, but I found myself in the lucky position to be asked that exact question. “Ummm….I don’t know”, I answered. “You do have running shoes, right?”, she persisted. Helplessly, I looked down on my two feet. I was wearing my black work shoes, a pair of semi-high heeled, no-name boots which is what I wear half of the year. I guess, I could run with those. For the rest of the time, I wear my comfy five-year old Adidas sneakers. That’s one myth about shoes and handbags dispelled for you.

“I have some shoes….sneakers.” I added. – “What type?”, says she – “The comfy one”, says I. The spotlight beaming at me from the interrogation lamp started to flicker. I could tell she was giving up, but I somewhat saved the situation by mentioning Adidas. At least I was not completely ignorant – too bad that didn’t stop her from educating us both on suitable sports shoes for city jogging for another 15 minutes. Just when I recovered my will to live and was about to mention how utterly moronic and counter-productive running on concrete in the middle of city traffic is for your health, the phone rang for her and she left. Annoying people always get the quick exits handed to them.

Where are the MMO missionaries?

That whole experience got me thinking on my way home later (when highly philosophical, mental monologue frequently occurs). I was trying to remember one single time in my life where somebody tried convincing me to play video games. Or for that matter, any situation where someone, a co-worker or other acquaintance might have picked up the topic in conversation, trying to engage others. Why are there no MMO missionaries? Besides the most obvious answer, that missionaries of any kind are in fact insufferable folk, really – but, where are the video game enthusiasts? Why are they nowhere to be heard, talking about their hobby, infusing others with their interest to the point of truculence?

It’s not a mainstream hobby, I get it. It’s not srs enough for boring work conversation. It’s still a little geeky. But really, how is the world ever going to be a better place without any of us talking about gaming? Do you want a planet ruled by business casual city-joggers?  


So, I’m making this official: from this day on, every week, I will at least once bring up the topic of video games outside this blog, to non-gamers. I will share my positive experiences and encourage others to give it a go sometime. If the topic isn’t going my way, I will make it. I will say things like “…our conference call line? Wait, ever heard about ventrilo? It’s a great, free voice comm tool for PC, people actually use it to play online games together. You know, WoW and stuff right? No? Well, let me tell you…”.

Easy. One recruit a week and soon enough, when I log on to the game in the evening, to unwind and recharge my batteries, I will be surrounded by co-workers. The excel-specialist that never shuts up, the guy with the golfball keyring……the city-jogger….


…I think I just remembered why we want no MMO missionaries!

“Keep it secret – keep it safe!”

Happy Monday to all of you out there, enjoying the peace of united geekdom at their PCs.

365 days in wonderland

365 days ago, I opened this blog to create a space for my endless thoughts on online gaming, my passion that is virtual fantasy worlds and role playing games. I also opened it so I would commit to more regular writing and to have a project that would keep me in touch with close friends who walked Azeroth’s paths by my side for many years. My journey into the world of MMOs did not begin here, but it has certainly taken a turn for the more serious with World of Warcraft and opening Raging Monkeys, by now known as Raging Monkey’s.

It is odd considering the blog is one year old. It certainly doesn’t feel that way, maybe because there were never set expectations, except to walk the road to see where it takes me, as long as I am enjoying it. When it comes to writing, I trust that you should write what you know and that’s what I attempted here and still attempt every week. Especially during the past three months, I have felt more and more relaxed with my posting schedule and believe I have somewhat found my voice – if not my zen when it comes to editing typos.

I have been told that blogs not dedicating themselves to one strict topic, have a harder time out there – that may be true. Yet, I have found that there are a great many voices and ears to be found in this blogosphere who have a similar, more generalist interest in MMO worlds, their complex design and fascinating dynamics. There is an endless list of topics to write about, so diverse is this phenomenon uniting millions of people around the globe. I have come across a great many bloggers during this year who share my fascination and appreciate a variety in discussion, whether their own blogs have a more game-exclusive focus or game design-centric one. Some topics concern us all. I was surprised and delighted about the positive feedback and warm welcome RM received from the very beginning and I am happy to find myself in the company of so many insightful and passionate bloggers in a blogosphere I am still exploring.

I know about common “bloggaversary traditions”, but we all deal differently with birthdays. In real life, not all of us like to celebrate in the same way, or less and less every year. I used to be this kind of person the past few years – one not raising much fuss about her birthday, no big parties, no lofty presents. I don’t know why or when exactly I lost my enthusiasm so completely, but this year I have decided it’s going to be different. In fact, I just invited my first bunch of friends to the party (still 3 months away) yesterday. It will probably end up being a very casual, cosy event anyway, but I will make it a day worth a memory, at least. Sometimes we should turn back the pages and allow ourselves to dwell on what we achieved. We tend to easily forget.

I guess by now more regular readers of Raging Monkey’s know me a little by the way I write and the topics I choose and God knows why it is you keep reading. That’s the big, eternal question for every writer, even the most famous and acclaimed: why do people like to read this? Maybe that’s what really keeps you writing and keeps your writing fresh. I truly think knowing the “recipe to success” would be the end – trying to copy old achievements, paralyzing yourself and thus putting an end to all growth. To write great texts is about being afraid. Just like a pro actor still feels nervous before stepping into the limelight. We reveal a lot of ourselves by publishing our thoughts.

Now, if you were only just chancing upon this small space in the blogosphere though, if this was the first day you ever set step on Raging Monkey’s – what would I tell you?

I could tell you maybe that I strongly believe MMOs should be about a journey into wonderland; that we should be travelers and adventurers on a fantastic road; that we should be pioneers there; heroes and creators, not just consumers. That for me, our time there is about stories and memories. Sometimes memories most of all.
Or I could tell you how often I laugh at the ironic and silly, that some of my favorite articles are those that made me laugh while writing and hopefully achieved the same with a handful of readers. I like to give my serious eyebrow a rest sometime which is why I often dedicate Fridays to more frivolous enterprises. There’s many blogs that I love for their author’s humor alone.
I should point out that I have a deep interest for the social mechanics and psychology behind MMOs; the idea of virtual communities, the reality and struggles of guild leading, the social acceptance of gaming as a hobby and pastime. I could tell you that I feel no shame to be a gamer and neither should you.
My most controversial post? Probably one on playtime. The most popular? Hard to say as joystiq & Co. have had too big an impact stat-wise and we are usually not the best judge of ourselves. As far comments go, I should probably leave exploration diaries to others though. My most personal posts? Here, here and here. My personal favorite? Easy. Other bloggers I read regularly and recommend? All on my blogroll, all awesome writers on their own account. Be sure to pay them a visit!

If you asked me whether I am the wiser for any of the 120+ articles I have written, I hope I am not. I’d write each of them again the same way, je ne regrette rien. Very rarely have I felt the nervous tingle about a line of mine and then decided to run with it no matter what. I believe in authenticity and that the best writing takes courage at times. The few times very popular sites linked to one of my articles, I got a troll commenter or two, that was it. But whether it is a huge gaming network or single blogger linking to something I said, I feel equally flushed and humbled every time. There’s no real accounting for why somebody links to you or comments on your articles, but it would be a lie to claim that it doesn’t add a lot of meaning and joy to what you are doing. To me, the ideal article is one where dialogue and discussion spring from, be it on site or somewhere else. That and laughter and mirth of course – those above all any day.

I want to thank all of you for your support (and tolerance for textwalls!), those lending this blog their ear from the very beginning, as much as those joining in later or stepping by once, be it as a reader or commenter. I thank those adding their own thoughts, supportive or critical, inspiring me to more of my own, during many enlightening discussions. I have come a long way in some of my judgments on MMO aspects, thanks to people speaking up, offering alternative views or pointing me further. This is what I write and comment for and what keeps things fresh and interesting.

With that I close this first bloggaversary on Raging Monkey’s. As for the next year, I don’t believe in forecasts and promises – I can only promise that absolutely nothing will change on this blog. And now finally for that cake!

Friday link love

It’s Friday, w00t! Hardly ever does stating the obvious make me this happy. It’s been a very interesting week for me blogging-wise, so I wanna thank all of you who added their own takes on the alt debate. I feel I gained many insights and once again the confirmation that with WoW being the “genre freak” that it is, with a much wider audience than just the classic MMORPG audience, questions like these become generally more complex. Even on smaller scale, there are already differences between a very raid-centric focus or other just as valid playstyles. I still think alts are a problematic feature; at the end of the day though, I hope you enjoy whatever you do because that’s what really matters.

I haven’t allowed myself to ramble freely in a while, although that is not to say I’m always coherent with my thoughts (I hear coherence is overrated, anyway). So, in the light of the upcoming weekend, I’ll be blissfully incoherent and throw random links at you for no specific purpose.

This week the US decided that violent video games are good for kids, or good enough anyway, and everyone in Europe is talking about it now too – what does it mean for us, what should we do, oh noes we’re all going to die, et cetera. Games don’t create violence. Here’s the proof.

Besides that, my literary God met up with my late-night God this last Sunday, so imagine my excitement. If you have no idea who these two people are, you should really get your act together. Fast. While we’re talking youtube: do you actually recognize Peter Jackson in this video? I had to check twice, scary! And I really can’t wait for the Hobbit.

Ah yeah, WoW launched a new content patch. I almost forgot. Hurry up and do your dailies grind so you can unlock your reward NPCs asap! Hurry hurry, you don’t wanna be left behind now, do you? Harder, better, faster, stronger. And what then? Who knows. Comme on fait son lit on se couche. I hope those hoops come in different colors, at least.

New bloggers on the block

I’d like to mention a few relatively new bloggers that I’ve only recently come across in the blogosphere. A few have been around longer than others which shows that some link love is overdue. In the spirit of oldschool MMO cooperation, remember your first blogging days and weeks and pay them a visit sometime –

  • Vudu, the “blog-less blogger”, writes commentaries on other MMO blog articles over at MMO Syndicate. He has fixed his comment box now, so you can start visiting. That’s Final Fantasy’s Zak in the header, by the way.
  • Straw Fellow is a relatively new blogger who has joined the circle of general MMO critics and analysts in the blogosphere. I have a weakness for scarecrows, so he’s off to a good start.
  • The Game Preacher has set out with an intriguing blog focus. He is “…here to help you develop your team. Whether you call it a clan, guild, or electronic sports team”. True to his name, his articles are comprehensive and substantial, so you want to take your time reading them through.
  • Telwyn from Gamingsf is an MMO player of variety who writes about MMOs in general as much as his adventures in Azeroth, the Planes of Telara, Norrath and more. I really like his blog template.
  • Max is a frequent commenter on MMO design blogs and has recently set up a place of his own under a most original name. To use his words, a blog about “MMO design snippets from the safety of an armchair”. With that, he joins our ever-increasing corner of critics and also, second language writers which is something to encourage.

/Wave to all of you and happy blogging. And of course, a fantastic weekend to everybody!

Looking for adventures

The mighty Kleps had a recent topic up about how sometimes when you lose something, you’re really winning and that got me thinking deep thoughts about the duality of things, how we never quite get what we want in life and that endless, futile chase for perfection. Yep, all of that by reading one post, impressive huh? I guess that’s more a tribute to him than me though.

Lately, I am enjoying the more personal blogposts loads more than gaming news ones, although that is not to say that I’m not ever-eager to read and comment where whim strikes me and my favoured bloggers are discussing the wind of change in the world of MMOs or scrutinize design and market development. Nils is telling me too, that “as long as it’s interesting”, someone’s always going to read it – which is basically so true, but gosh, the pressure!

And I really can’t say that this is going to be an interesting post, but I have decided to keep writing anyway. The truth is, I need help for I am desperately looking for adventure – adventureS in fact, after yet another long and delightful night of book reading and not sitting at a PC. I realize that I miss stories, have been missing them for a long time and I’d really just love to play a game again that is heavy on narrative and simple, standing pictures to stir your own imagination, that one true escapism. So, I’m not thinking classic RPG here, I’m thinking back to the roots – point&click or graphical adventures with lots of text to read, choices to make and atmospheric descriptions. Monkey Island naturally springs to mind and before that a game called the Grail I used to dabble at on Atari ST and that drove me mad with frustration. It also looked like this (and I don’t mind to play something slightly better looking FYI).

Do these even get made anymore? And where would I start looking? I’ve no idea and I cringe at picking a random one from google….so your suggestions are appreciated. It seems like the only thing to do gamewise while I wait for that utopian, next AAA+ MMORPG that might never get released because all games are now MMOs and it prints money. And a good weekend to you as usual!

P.S. This article was also an excuse to post that beanstalk; I love beanstalks, don’t you?

On new paths and missing the 60ies

I realize that it’s been over 3 weeks since I’ve updated this blog which really is a UH-OH! moment for myself – time has flown by at ludicrous speed with hardly a moment to myself to formulate a thought outside work. On the gaming front I haven’t spent a single hour on anything, although Portal 2 sounds great and so does the Witcher sequel. But I’m not sure I will play either. Rift is a lovely, solid game and I’m still subscribed, but for the moment at least that’s off too.

The truth is that a lot has changed these past weeks and months. My new job has considerably increased in responsibility and is challenging me in exactly the right ways. A big chunk of it is event and personnel management with lots of communication and translation work involved, which is exactly in my alley. It’s also reminding me loads of past officer duties and the role I used to have in World of Warcraft, it’s almost funny. I couldn’t have had a better training – the difference being maybe, that people whine less and payment is (literally) better. On the downside I get to teamwork much less and there are not those shared moments of epic win like when you’re killing that big ugly together for the very first time. But I’m having a good time while our accountant leaves me alone and I got that “itch” of ambition again to throw myself against new challenges. It’s never felt that way back in school when I was still teaching.

Adrenaline is going to celebrate its 3rd birthday really soon. There’s been a big exodus of oldtimers these past weeks and some of the parting certainly wasn’t easy – not on an emotional side and not on an organizational one. But Stumps is still fighting the good fight with the current team of officers and fresh people have joined the ranks to fill the multiple gaps created. It’s good to see that what we began in 2008 is still standing the test of time and I know which people currently are to thank for that. I still keep in touch with closer friends and ex-guildies via mail and the guild forum, although it feels a little weird to find more and more strange names there than known ones. A bit like visiting a home you used to live in that is now inhabited by other people.

I feel like the blogosphere has changed during the same time too, not just in terms of mass-exodus but overall a change of theme and atmosphere; maybe also due to some of the discussions (and drama) having transferred so much to twitter. Things on Raging Monkeys have certainly changed, with both me and Grumpy Dorf having quit WoW and Stumps putting focus on his own career and keeping raids going for Adrenaline. I’ve been blogging by myself for quite a while now and felt it increasingly difficult to place myself after so many changes – and also, more and more restricting in terms of topics. The future of the MMO genre and design is still of great interest to me, but as Wolfshead said to me in a short exchange of Emails, right now it feels like we all keep repeating ourselves and all that can be said has been said.

That said, the blog isn’t going anywhere – but I don’t know how frequently I will update for a while. Raging Monkeys was first and foremost a place to ramble about online gaming and also, keeping in touch with close friends. The few other humble “goals” I’ve had on a personal level have all come true much faster than I ever dreamed and I’ve had a real blast, getting to know many great people. But when I get home in the evenings these days, I’m tired from work and happy to get away from the PC. I feel like writing, but not about games and there’s a lovely spring out there, many books to be read and glasses of wine to be had among friends. I’ve also taken up a new TV series which the fans of George R. Martin among you will no doubt know about, “A Game of Thrones” – the popular fantasy series put on screen. There’s 4 episodes out now and while the pilot left me somewhat skeptical, it’s a long way off from series like Legend of the Seeker or worse, Xena and Hercules, so it’s all good. Sean Bean is cast in a major role and no doubt adds to an otherwise okay lineup. Heck, beggars can’t be choosers, we know the tube isn’t blessed with this particular genre.

Why the 60ies are like vanilla

I’ve also started to listen to more music again and find myself getting to know Rock better, not as in Rock’n Roll but the Hardrock of the 70ies, with bands like Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple at the top, but also early Aerosmith or Thin Lizzy. I’m such a horrible music noob and I always feel embarrassed when listening to my partner and his (all horribly music-savvy) friends debating bands and the evolution of the music of the past decades everytime they come to visit us on weekends. I’m so deeply into all kinds of visual arts and literature, but when it comes to music I’ve utterly missed out on education (I blame my parents!). I’ve always listened to contemporary music, Pop and Soul mostly, with some classic music on the side. So I’m slowly picking up the trail of where and when “the real shit”, that shaped everything after it, changed the world.

And I realize that for many music lovers, having missed the 60ies and 70ies is a little bit like WoW players having missed vanilla; the thought came to me when listening to some of their chats and the feeling of loss for not having been there when Woodstock happened, to hear Janis Joplin or Jimmy Hendrix live and being there when one band was as groundbreaking as the next. There’s simply no going back to such a time when everything is being re-defined. What comes after is great too, but actually having been there when it was all born is another matter. And that’s what connects veterans and always will when they share a nostalgic moment, leaving newcomers to that slightly wistful longing.
Each time I think of WoW, I’m so so glad I was there for vanilla. And yeah, TBC was good too and WotLK was great in places; but we were there when the days were young, with all paths wondrous and new and everyone in the same boat of “whoa”. If you missed vanilla, I’m sorry, what can I tell you – you missed the 60ies, friend.

And that’s the whole veteran topic in a nutshell, although no doubt some will cringe at the analogy. The truth is that many great experiences are simply about a strong, shared feeling among a group of people.

But getting back to the blog now and closing this rambly wall of text: que sera, sera. I’ve never been one to keep up things for the sake of them, but I’m also not the one that simply disappears and quits on a good thing for no good reason. That sort of fatalism belongs to the young (*enter wise voice*).
Things are simply a bit quieter right now and that’s the whole of it, although there’s a handful of unfinished posts waiting in my post box and all sorts of other ideas (curiously enough a lot of them about comics) fighting for space in my head. Until I have found peace to sort them out or come to some other conclusion, I hope that you are all well out there, those still reading these lines and going about their own lives, wherever that may be.

Significant Friday

It’s Friday everybody! That sweet fifth day of the week we look forward to so much, that gateway to the weekend and blessed relaxation. Yet of all the days of the week, we tend to pay Friday the least reverence. Yes in fact, we often completely omit the existence of Friday, talking about how it’s already the weekend or “thank God it’s Thursday tomorrow, finally the week is over!”. And that sucks for poor old Friday. Freya would not be pleased. Where’s your Friday appreciation?

Fridays are usually celebrated with a Frivolous Friday post on this blog. Which is a great excuse for me to write rambly texts, bombard the world with silly pictures or links that made me laugh for one reason or another and generally be not so SRS. You need to give your week a break sometime.

But not today. Today there will be no sillyness here – today I shall (and so should you), in quiet contemplation and gratitude, honor Friday as is its due.

Thank you Friday, for being my last day of work every week. Thank you for an empty office in the morning, so I can enjoy my coffee in peace. Thank you for generally being less of a pain in the ass than your brothers and sisters, especially Monday and Thursday. Thank you for an early leave in the afternoon, because I need to go and buy stuff for tomorrow’s barbecue. Thank you for another episode of Grey’s Anatomy, latest season. Thank you for less traffic on the road and less smelly people in my tram and bus. Thank you for the last afterwork drink in the evening and first toast to the weekend. Thank you for staying up as late as I like, because Saturday mornings are for other people. Thank you Friday for always being there, each week on time.


Have a good Friday everybody. And remember to appreciate your days.